Join the 16 Days of Activism Movement 2020

Join the 16 Days of Activism Movement 2020

16 Days of Activism is a global campaign mobilising individuals and organisations around ending gender-based violence. What does '16 Days of Activism' mean for us here at Aidsfonds? 

With this year’s global campaign theme focusing on amplifying voices of women in the informal economy, we want to amplify the voice of sex workers calling for decriminalisation and recognition of sex work as work. Continue reading to learn and see what you can do to join the global movement to #EndSexWorkViolence and #NoMoreMissingRights.

Keep an eye on this page. We will be sharing stories and social posts for the duration of the campaign from November 25 to December 10, 2020.

Access the official Aidsfonds 16 Days of Activism social media toolkit here


COVID-19 and sex work

Sex workers have reportedly been hit hard by the novel COVID-19 pandemic. Restrictions placed on travel and access points for their work left them with limited income resources. Most state response systems left out sex workers, due to factors such as criminalisation, which open up channels for exclusion and discrimination. 

According to the Global Network of Sex Work Projects, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in sex workers all over the world are experiencing hardship, a total loss of income and increased discrimination, harassment and violence.

Sex worker counting money Sex worker counting money

End Violence against sex workers

Sex workers are part of the most marginalised population groups. Sex work is highly stigmatised, and in most countries, it is a criminal offence to sell and buy sexual services. This often relates to stigmatisation of the work itself but manifests in various forms such as barriers to accessing healthcare services, criminal justice in the case of violence, as well as discrimination and violence from community members. Not only does this compromise sex workers’ income generation systems, but also subjects sex workers to physical, sexual and emotional violence from clients, police officers and healthcare workers. This year, we call on you to support the movement to end violence against sex workers and decriminalise sex work.

Approaches that work

Via the Hands Off II programme, Aidsfonds strengthens sex worker-led networks in becoming a movement of sex workers with strong rights awareness. Together with partners, we set up rapid emergency response systems with peer educators and paralegals in the Hands Off countries (Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe), supporting survivors of violence and litigating human rights. We build relationships with police at community and national level, turning them from perpetrators of violence into allies in the HIV response. Aidsfonds is proud that violence has decreased at all sites where Hands Off was implemented, and that sex worker-led organisations achieved these results themselves!

Woman handing out condoms to sex workers Woman handing out condoms to sex workers

Join the movement

Together, we can end the silence around gender-based violence against sex workers by listening to their stories and hearing what is often left unspoken. We need to give sex workers a platform to share their experiences, raising awareness for this issue. This movement mobilises organisations around ending violence against sex workers to give it the attention it urgently needs. Join the movement now to #EndSexWorkViolence and to #DecriminaliseSexWorkNow by following us on Twitter and LinkedIn and help share the messages. 

Join the global movement by adding the hashtag #NoMoreMissingRights and tagging both @Aidsfonds_intl and @16DaysCampaign on Twitter, and @Aidsfonds on LinkedIn. 

Access the Aidsfonds social media toolkit via this link.

Access the Global 16 Days of Activism social media toolkit via this link

Read official Aidsfonds 16 Days of activism 2020 statement

Aidsfonds emphasizes our strong position against violence in all forms and supports partners and sex workers. By increasing awareness, implementing advocacy campaigns and sharing knowledge. The Aidsfonds Hands Off Programme works with partners in mobilising stakeholders who collectively work together to address violence against sex workers..

Sex workers hugging Sex workers hugging uses cookies to offer the best website experience possible and to anonymously analyze website behaviour. More information.