Resources

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.

The Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT), along with the Red Umbrella Programme, a network of 19 South Africa sex worker programmes and 560 peer educators supported by SWEAT, has developed this guide on best practices to comprehensive sex work programming. The guide provides an overview of meaningful sex worker involvement and strategies of moving from programmes “for” to programmes “with” and “by” sex workers.

Theme: Health

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

Download this resource:

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.

Download this resource:
This report documents good practices for sex worker-led organisations in four African countries including Kenya, Uganda, Cameroon, and South Africa. The organisations documented are the Bar Hostess Empowerment and Support Programme (BHESP), the Women’s Organisation Network for Human Rights Advocacy (WONETHA), the Aids ACODEV Cameroon, and SISONKE in South Africa.
Download this resource:
Theme: Health

The present guide is a companion to a study and has been designed for program planners, policy, and decision makers, and civil society organisations that advocate for and work with FSWs and MSM in programs related to HIV and AIDS. It draws upon key findings from the original study and provides details on how to use data for decision making and evidence-based HIV programs, services, and policies, which address the needs of people living with HIV (PLHIV), men who have sex with men (MSM), and female sex workers (FSWs) in Côte d’Ivoire.

Download this resource:
Theme: Health

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".

Download this resource:

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).

Download this resource:

This study can be used as evidence of the need for governments and health programmes to take the needs and rights of sex workers living with HIV on board!

Although disproportionately affected by HIV, sex workers remain neglected by efforts to expand access to ART. In Zimbabwe, this qualitative research study was carried out to determine some of the reasons sex workers take up HIV referrals and ART initiation.

Download this resource:
Theme: Health

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".

Download this resource:

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. 

Download this resource:

You can download this 35 page PDF resource above. This resource is in English.

Download this resource:

You can download this 23 page PDF resource above. This resource is in English.

Download this resource:

You can download this 72 page PDF resource above. This resource is in English.

Download this resource:

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.

Download this resource:

Intervention by Martine Ago, Ivory Coast:
The United Nations General Assembly
High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS


United Nations Headquarters
New York, USA, June 1, 2006

Your Excellency, the president of the United Nations General Assembly; Your Excellence, the Secretary General of the United Nations; and honored invitees, ladies and gentlemen:

I am Martine Ago, representative of sex professionals, from the Ivory Coast, a country that knows firsthand a military-political crisis with its crushing poverty, violence and degradation of the health system.

Download this resource:
Theme: Health

In Uganda, 6.4% of the 33 million people are HIV/AIDS positive. This is a sharp decline from about 30% in the 1980s, when the pandemic first struck the country. The theme for this year’s World Aids Day was: 'Universal Access and Human Rights'. However, Uganda chose to mark the day under the theme to highlight the need for Paediatric HIV/AIDS interventions under the theme “I have a duty to protect every child from HIV/AIDS….. Do you?” The theme reflected Uganda’s national priority in addressing the challenges of the pandemic in the country, with an estimated 25,000 children born each year HIV positive.

Download this resource:
Theme: Health

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.

Download this resource: