Bridging the Gaps Sex Work Uganda WONETHA

Bridging the Gaps Sex Work Uganda WONETHA


WONETHA, the Women's Organisation Network for Human Rights Advocacy, works on the strengthening of the sex work community in Uganda. WONETHA organises group counselling sessions for sex workers living with HIV and implements trainings for health care workers on the rights and needs of sex workers. Sex workers will be trained as paralegals, who are responsible to provide paralegal services to their peers. WONETHA also focuses on training security personnel and other stakeholders on human rights and the needs of sex workers. They train media channels on positive reporting and safety issues of sex workers. WONETHA supports leaders of sex work organisations in Uganda on coalition building, partnership building and networking.

Project details

Time frame
01 January 2016 - 31 December 2020
€ 469,081
Active in


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 WONETHA 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

Over 1600 sex workers in Uganda will be reached with the different activities implemented by WONETHA. Around 900 stakeholders such as security personnel, leaders of faith based organisations, media staff and government officials will be reached through advocacy, sensitisation and lobby.


Sex work is criminalised in Uganda. Access to health services is limited due to travel distances; sex worker friendly health clinics are often far from sex worker hotspots. Sex workers are often stigmatised and discriminated against. The government has multiple laws that punish sex workers. There is the anti-pornography act, the transmission of HIV is criminalised and there is the NGO act that impedes work that does not comply with the constitution. However, sex worker organisations are strong and visible in Uganda.

The overall HIV prevalence is estimated at 7.25%. There is no available updated data on the number of people living with HIV within each key population group. Although there is some political presence in the national HIV response, strong political will directed towards implementation and achievement is absent. There is entrenched resistance to progress to addressing laws criminalising same-sex sexual behaviour, sex work, and drug use.

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Bridging the Gaps: Uganda

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

Bridging the Gaps: Uganda

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