Legislation around sex work can be extremely complex and different legal models exist in different countries, and sometimes even within countries. While understanding the written laws and regulations is important, it does not provide a complete picture of the impact of sex work laws on the lives of sex workers. To understand this, it is essential to understand how the laws are interpreted, enforced, and implemented on the ground.
In April 2020, NSWP launched a global survey to understand the impact of COVID-19 on sex workers. The survey received 156 responses in total from 55 different countries out of which 22 responses were from 13 countries – Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Togo, Tunisia, and Zambia – in the Africa region.
Human Rights Watch and the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) have released a new report recommending the decriminalisation of sex work in South Africa, in order to protect the safety and wellbeing of women, and respond to the HIV pandemic.
This policy brief on the Decriminalisation of Sex Work in Kenya was written in collaborartion with the University of Amsterdam and NSWP member HOYMAS and KESWA. This policy brief argues that sex workers have the same rights as other citizens in Kenya as outlined in the Kenyan Constitution. The brief describes key instances in which the rights of sex workers as defined by the Constitution are violated in Kenya.
This case study reflects on the development and impact of the Sex Worker Academy Africa (SWAA). The SWAA is a ground-breaking learning programme for community empowerment and capacity building, led by and for sex workers. The Academy brings together national teams of sex workers from across Africa to develop organising skills, learn best practices, stimulate national sex worker movements, and strengthen the regional network.
Quality of family planning services and integration in the prevention of vertical transmission context
Perspectives and experiences of women living with HIV and service providers in Cameroon, Nigeria, and Zambia
“The decriminalisation of sex work could avert HIV infections by 33- 46% in the next decade, according to a new study published in The Lancet, the world’s leading medical journal.”
July 29, 2014 (Cape Town) –The Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) and Sisonke National Sex Worker Movement of South Africa welcome the imperative finding of the research series on HIV and Sex workers.
The African Sex Worker Alliance statement in response to the attack on the UN recommendations regarding decriminalisation. ASWA state that they "stand firmly against the radical move by former sex workers and campaigners in the global north, to protest against the decriminalisation of sex workers ... [including] our partners, employees, and clients".
This position paper on sex work from the South African Commission on Gender Equality lays out the reasons and evidence behind the Commission's recommendation that sex work in South Africa should be decriminalised. This resource could be useful for advocacy in contexts where the criminalisation of clients is proposed, as it demonstrates an official acceptance that the Swedish model has failed, and evidences that failure across multiple issues (e.g trafficking, stigma, gender equality).
The report to the UN by the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights in Namibia discusses the challenges faced by sex workers, writing "the criminalization of sex work in Namibia lies at the foundation of a climate of stigma, discrimination and violence surrounding sex work".
Sex workers from KESWA and ASWA in Nairobi staged a protest marking International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers on 17th December. Thousands of sex workers joined with gay activists and organisations to condemn the ‘Kill the Gay, Uganda Bill’ and marched on City Hall.
You can download this 35 page PDF resource above. This resource is in English.
You can download this 23 page PDF resource above. This resource is in English.
You can download this 72 page PDF resource above. This resource is in English.
This report summarises the deliberations of a one day event entitled “Labour of Love” held on 17th December 2010, hosted by Women’s Organization Network for Human Rights Advocacy (WONETHA) in partnership with Uganda Harmonized Rights Alliance (UHRA). The event primarily sought to put a human face to the lives of sex workers as well as challenge the public silence on violence against them. The forum was attended by 55 participants, including sex workers, brothel owners and human rights activists. The event was organised against the background that sex workers have continuously suffered from abuse, discrimination and violence which often goes unreported and unacknowledged. In particular, the event illuminated the achievements, coping mechanisms, challenges and recommendations regarding sex work.
The criminalisation of sex work in Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa leaves sex workers vulnerable to sexual and physical abuse, as well as extortion, from law enforcement officers such as police and border guards. Human rights violations and a lack of safe and supportive working conditions render sex workers particularly vulnerable to HIV. These are some of the findings of this report on the health and rights challenges confronted by female, male, and transgender sex workers in Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa.
Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMwA) created this document as a way to provide context for the sex worker rights movement by sharing the life stories of sex workers with others, in their own words, allowing them to share their dreams and experiences with others to help them better understand sex workers, and to help other sex workers find the value and power in their own experiences. Chapters include stories of sex workers, a guide to risk management tips for sex workers to have safer work lives, and a sex workers pledge.
This paper summarises and reports on research involving documenting womens labour migration and occurances of trafficking, focusing on women in Bangladesh, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Kuwait.