In the first half of the year, Embrace Dignity has been involved in a range of activities and have reached a number of milestones as well.
EMBRACE DIGNITY ATTENDANCE AT KEY STRATEGIC ENGAGEMENTS
Embrace Dignity has attended and participated in the following key strategic engagements:
- A webinar on Cross-Linkages between Human Trafficking and Pornography: Myth or Reality? which was organised by the OSCE office for democratic institutions and human rights and moderated by Tatiana Kotlyarenko, ODIHR Adviser on anti-human trafficking issues on 4 May 2020.
- The virtual roundtable of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) which was held on 30 April 2020 and brought together survivor leaders from Argentina, the Netherlands, South Africa and the USA to discuss the effects of the global health crisis (COVID-19) on women in the sex trade. Mickey Meji was part of the panel and she spoke about how COVID-19 has affected prostituted women in South Africa.
- On 13 March 2020 Embrace Dignity was part of the stakeholder consultation group on the National Gender Machinery Framework Consultation before the framework’s submission to cabinet for approval.
- From 29 February to 2 March 2020, Embrace Dignity attended the CSW64 Consultation Meeting: Generation Equality in Boksburg to prepare the delegates for the main meeting in New York.
- Embrace Dignity attended the Consultative Conference on Beijing +25-Pre CSW 64: Peaceful Societies, Access to Justice and Freedom from Violence from 10-12 February 2020 at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Bellville. The event was hosted by Ilitha Labantu. Embrace Dignity partook in a panel discussion and facilitated a discussion group on the achievements by government and challenges with regards to the rights to bodily autonomy and reproductive rights.
- Embrace Dignity was part of the Generation Equality Task Team and participated in the drafting of the addendum on the South African Report Pre-CSW 64.
ENDORSEMENT OF OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA
Embrace Dignity endorsed an Open letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa calling for support for NGOs during this COVID-19 pandemic which was organised by Marc Lubner, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of the Smile Foundation and CEO of Afrika Tikkun, Hedley Lewis, CEO of the Smile Foundation, Kelly du Plessis, CEO of Rare Diseases South Africa NPC, Lauren Pretorius, CEO of Campaigning For Cancer and Apex Leader at Community Constituency Covid-19 Front, and Cassey Chambers, Operations Director of the South Africa Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG).
APPOINTMENT OF NEW BOARD MEMBERS
The key role of the Embrace Dignity Board is to control and manage the affairs of the organisation. Embrace Dignity currently has 12 Board members.
The following Board members recently joined the Embrace Dignity family: Ms Linda Nodada (Chairperson of the Board), Dr Marcel van der Watt, and Ms Pam Ndaba. You can visit our Board members page to see their bios there.
The ultimate goal of the Coalition for the Abolition of Prostitution in Africa (CAPA) is to abolish the system of prostitution through the enforcement of the Abolitionist Equality Law in African countries as part of the global abolitionist movement. To date the CAPA charter has been signed by 350 individuals, with 129 signatures obtained online and 221 at events.
COVID-19 RELIEF EFFORTS
As an organisation, Embrace Dignity is committed to providing support to prostituted persons who have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Embrace Dignity has provided support through the distribution of food assistance parcels to help prostituted persons, partner organisations and other members of civil society, including students in tertiary institutions who have no financial support or income during this challenging time.
We bolstered our capacity by appointing a Parliamentary Liaison Officer, Ursula Kotelana, effective from 4 May 2020. We are excited about this appointment and we look forward to the contribution she will make in growing our organisation.
Embrace Dignity is currently working on a full database of exit service providers to further strengthen our Exit Programme.