Hands Off II Sex work Mozambique

Hands Off II Sex work Mozambique


Nearly 70 percent of sex workers in Mozambique report having experienced violence, mainly perpetrated by clients. Aidsfonds, Tiyane Vavasate (sex worker-led group), Pathfinder (international NGO) and the National We Want Rights Platform (national sex worker-movement) work on reducing violence against sex workers in Mozambique. This is done by implementing activities that focus on strengthening the sex worker movement and by building strong relations with allies such as healthcare workers, politicians and law enforcement officers. Human rights violations against sex workers will be documented and used for lobbying and advocacy purposes. With the support of sex worker focal points in the eleven provinces in Mozambique, activities are rolled out on a national scale.

Project details

Time frame
01 January 2020 - 31 March 2024
€ 420,000
Active in

11 provinces Mozambique

Show location details


Hands Off 2 partners work to reduce violence against sex workers at community, national and regional level. In Mozambique, outcomes include a functional and sustainable national sex worker movement and empowering sex workers to influence policies and laws relevant for them. Partners are also working to increased police protection for sex workers, by working closely with the Polícia da República da Moçambique.

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. In Mozambique, activities also target healthcare workers, policy makers and police officials and officers.


The most recent data on sex work shows an HIV prevalence of 28 percent among female sex workers. Around 29 percent of new HIV infections are among sex workers, their clients and men who have sex with men.

Sex work in Mozambique often takes place in clubs, pensions, hotels and barracas (stalls selling alcohol and other drinks). Sex work is common around mines and gas exploration sites in provinces such as Cabo Delgado. Even though there is no existing legislation in Mozambique that criminalises sex work, sex workers continue to report arbitrary arrests and corruption by law enforcement. Many sex workers don’t trust police and avoid reporting violence. Asking for support remains difficult, and a recent study shows that over 30 percent of the sex workers that experience violence do not ask for help.

News, stories and resources from this project

Best_practice Hands Off II Sex work Mozambique 19 August 2019

A story of change: Turning Mozambique’s police into an ally

A short story of how our partner Tiyane Vavasate and Pathfinder managed to ...
Story Hands Off II Sex work Mozambique 19 August 2019

I feel empowered to speak up and own my work

It all started with smoking cigarettes. I smoked with these people from another ...
Factsheet Hands Off II Sex work Mozambique 31 July 2018

Sex work and violence in Mozambique Factsheet

This fact sheet presents the main findings of a study in Mozambique examini...

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