Hands Off II Police collaboration

Hands Off II Police collaboration


By engaging with police and training them on human rights of sex workers and other key populations, police officers can play a key role in violence and HIV reduction amongst these groups. Aidsfonds will work with regional police institutions and national police institutions, such as South African Police Service (SAPS) and Mozambique Republic Police (PRM), to roll out the Dignity, Diversity and Policing training. This training was developed under Hands Off I under coordination of COC to educate police officers on rights of key populations. In the meanwhile, Hands Off partners and peer educators will seek and intensify relationships with police at community/ station level.

Project details

Time frame
31 July 2019 - 30 July 2024
€ 490,000
Active in
Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe


Hands Off II partners work to reduce violence against sex workers at community, national and regional level. With the police Aidsfonds mainly works on outcome 4: sex workers are protected and served by law enforcement.

Community groups

The programme’s primary target group is female, male and transgender sex workers, meaning those who receive money or goods in exchange for sexual services, either regularly or occasionally. Other groups include People Using Drugs and LGBTIQ people. In this project Aidsfonds' main target group is police.


Prejudice, gender normative beliefs, as well as the criminalisation of sex work, sodomy and drug use make sex workers, LGBTI people and people using drugs vulnerable to stigma, extortion, physical and sexual violence by police. Research has shown that violence is a root cause of HIV and that police behaviour can have an adverse impact on HIV risks among key populations. Prejudice, gender normative beliefs, and the criminalisation of sex work make sex workers vulnerable to stigma and violence by police. Research has shown that violence is a root cause of HIV and that police behaviour can have an adverse impact on HIV risks among sex workers.

The Hands Off study on Sex work and violence carried out by local partners under 1895 male, female and transgender sex workers showed that a significant part of them have reported gender-based (39%) and sexual violence (31%) by police officers. They reported beatings (36%), forced sex (34%), bribing (30%) and confiscated condoms (22%).

News, stories and resources from this project

Best_practice Hands Off II Police collaboration 19 August 2019

A story of change: Training South Africa’s police to work with vulnerable communities

While combating violence is the domain of the police, in South Africa they were ...
Report Hands Off II Police collaboration 31 July 2018

Sex work and violence in Southern Africa (regional report)

This report presents the main findings of a regional study in Botswana, Mozambiq...
Manual Hands Off II Police collaboration 03 March 2020

Dignity, Diversity and Policing training manual

Since 2015 the South African Police Service (SAPS) has participated in stakehold...


< 200,000 new HIV infections globally
Contributed within this project
Awareness, support in society, and full funding of the AIDS and STI response
Contributed within this project
Everyone living with HIV worldwide receives treatment
Contributed within this project

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