Hands Off II Sex work INERELA+

Hands Off II Sex work INERELA+


Religious leaders are in a unique position to create a more supportive environment for sex work. Under Hands Off INERELA+ looks to empower its members (religious leaders of their interfaith network) to become agents of change who will help eliminate stigma and discrimination within their congregations and communities, and challenge stigma against sex workers. To this end INERELA+ will develop a training curriculum on sex work in collaboration and consultation with its members and in-country sex worker communities.

Project details

Time frame
01 January 2020 - 31 March 2024
€ 185,000
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. Outcomes of INERELA+ mainly involves a more enabling and supportive environment for sex work.

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. INERELA+ will work with its members, religious leaders, and will work with influential people from their congregation and community.


Sex workers experience violence from members of their community, relatives or peers. Violence is often fuelled by a context of stigma and discrimination. Within this context, sex workers are looked down upon socially and denied access to many formal and informal societal structures. In most Southern Africa contexts religious leaders vocally oppose to sex work, stressing that it's harmful and morally repugnant, reinforcing stigma and violence.

The Hands Off study on Sex work and violence carried out by local partners under 1895 male, female and transgender sex workers showed that 71 percent of sex workers experiences stigma and discrimination by their community.

Other projects within the programme

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Hands Off II: reducing violence against sex workers

Building on the success of the first phase of Hands Off, Hands Off 2 (2019-2024)...

Hands Off II: reducing violence against sex workers

This project is part of Hands Off II: reducing violence against sex workers

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