African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA)

Contact email
Who do you work with?

ASWA is a sex work movement/network formed in 2009 by empowered sex worker leaders, women’s activists and NGO’s who support the rights of sex workers and publically denounce the stigma, discrimination and criminalisation of sex work.

How are sex workers involved in your organisation?

ASWA supports the rights of sex workers who came together in South Africa – JHB to form the African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA) and this was the first ever sex worker led African conference. ASWA is committed to sex workers health rights.

Which of NSWP priority areas does your organisation work on?
Oppose the criminalisation and other legal oppression of sex work and support its recognition as work
Critique the trafficking paradigm that conflates representations of sex work, migration, and mobility
Advocate for universal access to health services, including primary health care, HIV and sexual and reproductive health services
Speak out about violence against sex workers, including violence from police, institutions, clients, and intimate partners, while challenging the myth that sex work is inherently gender-based violence
Oppose human rights abuses, including coercive programming, mandatory testing, raids and forced rehabilitation
Challenge stigma and discrimination against sex workers, their families and partners, and others involved in sex work
Advocate for the economic empowerment and social inclusion of sex workers as sex workers
What are the two main challenges that the sex workers you work with face

ASWA is a growing alliance of sex workers and sex worker partners seeking to contribute to social and economic justice for sex workers in Africa. Its vision is an empowered sex work industry where sex workers have equal access to human rights, social justice and health care in a dignified manner.

Describe other areas of your work

Creating an enabling environment of partnerships that enables sex workers to address the complexities, dynamics and diversities within the sex work industry.
Supporting sex workers self organisation and movement strengthening.
Advocacy and representation of voices of African sex workers
Removal of structural and legal barriers to allow access to human and health rights.