Hands Off II Sex work Zimbabwe

Hands Off II Sex work Zimbabwe


In Zimbabwe, around 63 percent of sex workers in Zimbabwe report having experienced physical, sexual, economic and emotional violence on a regular basis. More than third of sex workers in the experienced violence by police officers. To reduce violence against sex workers, Aidsfonds works together with Pow Wow (sex worker-led organisation from Bulawayo), ZIMSWA (national sex worker-led organisation) and the Sexual Rights Centre (national NGO. The sex worker leadership and mentorship academy will build the capacity of sex workers to advocate for their own rights. Paralegals will continue to support sex workers in accessing legal services and by establishing support groups sex workers will have increased access to psychosocial services.

Project details

Time frame
01 August 2019 - 31 July 2024
€ 380,000
Active in


Hands Off 2 partners work to reduce violence against sex workers at community, national and regional level. Outcomes of partners in Zimbabwe include a strong national sex worker movement, increased access to health and psychosocial services for sex workers, reduction of stigma and discrimination against sex workers and increased respectful behaviour between police and sex workers.

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 Zimbabwe, health care workers, community police officers and high level politicians are also part of the target group.


The most recent data on sex work shows an HIV prevalence of 57.1 percent among female sex workers. It is officially not a crime to sell sex in Zimbabwe. Under the Criminal Codification and Reform Act it is however illegal to solicit clients, live on the earnings of sex work and to facilitate and procure sex work.

There are an estimated 45.000 sex workers in Zimbabwe, of which the percentage of women, men and transgender is unknown. Sex workers pick up clients in (hotel) bars, nightclubs, brothels, truck parks and on the streets.

News, stories and resources from this project

Best_practice Hands Off II Sex work Zimbabwe 19 August 2019

A story of change: Treating each other with care and respect

Read the impressive story how Aidsfonds partners Sexual Rights Centre (SRC) and ...
Story Hands Off II Sex work Zimbabwe 19 August 2019

I feel empowered. I choose when, where, how and with who

My birth name is Bradley but I found out about myself at a young age. I had a hi...
Report Hands Off II Sex work Zimbabwe 31 July 2018

Sex work and violence in Zimbabwe

This report presents the main findings of a study in Zimbabwe examining violence...

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