KESWA and BHeSP, Kenya CEDAW Shadow Report


The Kenya Sex Worker Alliance (KESWA) and Bar Hostess Empowerment and Support Programme, with support from NSWP and CREA, submitted this shadow report to the 68th CEDAW Session, which took place October-November 2017. Titled “Aren’t We Also Women,” the report incorporates quotes from sex workers and is based on desk research and extensive interviews with KESWA member organisations. It documents high levels of police violence, extortion, and failure to investigate cases, abuse and discrimination from health care providers, and the withholding of ARV medication from sex workers in detention.

Due to their shadow report and advocacy in Geneva, the CEDAW committee’s Concluding Observations included strong recommendations to remove administrative and criminal laws that affect sex workers, eliminate mandatory HIV and STI testing, and address police violence against sex workers.

Contents Include:

  • Executive summary
  • Kenya legal framework
  • Violations of sex workers' human rights under CEDAW
    • Article 1 & Article 2: Discrimination against women
    • Article 6: Suppression of all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of prostitution of women
    • Article 7: Political and Public Life
    • Article 11: Employment and Labour Practices
    • Article 12: Health Care
    • Article 15: Equality
    • General Recommendation No. 19 Violence against women.
  • Recommendations

Their submission might be useful for sex workers who are interested in submitting their own report to CEDAW once their country is reviewed. It is also useful for those interested in learning more about Singapore’s framework for licensing sex workers and its impact on them.

You can download this 17 page PDF above. This resource is available in English.