Bridging the Gaps Sex Work Myanmar AMA

Bridging the Gaps Sex Work Myanmar AMA


Sex workers in Myanmar face many challenges, ranging from stigma and discrimination to violence and police arrests. For this reason, sex workers are hesitant to reach out to available services, such as testing and treatment, or to advocate for their rights. To address these challenges, Ama Myanmar Association (AMA) works on community empowerment through leadership training among sex worker activists. To increase the fulfilment of human rights of sex workers, AMA provides paralegal support and counselling to sex workers. Journalists are trained on human rights based reporting on sex work. To achieve increased access to and better quality of health services for sex workers AMA collaborates with the National Aids Programme and non-governmental organisations that provide health services.

Project details

Time frame
01 July 2016 - 31 December 2020
€ 260,296
Active in
Myanmar (Burma)


Partners under the Bridging the Gaps programme aim to end AIDS among key populations. If civil society is strengthened, if fulfilment of human rights for key populations is increased and if sexual and reproductive health is improved and HIV transmission reduced, governments will be hold to account and AIDS among key populations can end. Specific outcomes of AMA include strong sex worker communities working collectively and advocating for their rights and increased access to- and improved quality of health services for sex workers.

Community groups

60 sex worker activists from Kyauk Pataung and Pathein will receive training on community leadership. An additional 150 sex workers will be included in social meetings to stimulate community empowerment and mobilisation. Through paralegal support and counselling 400 sex workers who experienced violence or arbitrary arrest will receive legal support. 500 sex workers will be reached through outreach work and referrals to HIV/STI testing and treatment.


Sex work is criminalised in Myanmar under the prostitution act. Arbitrary and unjust arrests, detention and bribing of sex workers by police are common experiences. Health services are only available in the bigger cities. Therefore sex workers based outside urban areas lack access to health services. The organisation of sex workers is also primarily concentrated in the main cities.

Myanmar is experiencing a nationally concentrated HIV epidemic. HIV prevalence in the general population is 0.54% in populations’ aged 15 and above. The epidemic is rapidly increasing amongst female sex workers, with a reported HIV prevalence of 6.44% among female sex workers. There are huge regional diversions: HIV prevalence amongst sex workers in Yangon is calculated at 25% and in Mandalay at 20%.

Other projects within the programme

Bridging the Gaps: Myanmar

Bridging the Gaps is alliance of nine international organisations and networks a...

Bridging the Gaps: Myanmar

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