Hands Off!: reducing violence against sex workers

Hands Off!: reducing violence against sex workers

Program

The Hands Off programme works on the reduction of violence against sex workers in Southern Africa through prevention, care and support. To this end, Aidsfonds works together with a wide range of institutions in five countries, such as sex worker-led groups, law enforcement, health and support services, legal centres and NGOs working on human rights. The programme ensures meaningful participation of sex workers and is based on sex workers’ own priorities and needs.

Program details

Time frame
01 December 2014 - 31 July 2019
Budget
€ 4,407,436
Active in
Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe

Objectives

The programme aims to reduce violence against sex workers through (sustainable) prevention, care and support. The specific objectives include: 1) sex workers at individual level and community level are empowered and supported 2) (Potential) allies are strenghtened to respond to violence against sex workers 3) An enabling and supportive environment is created for sex workers' rights and 4) Capacity and knowledge to promote sex workers'rights are created at regional level.

Community groups

175.000 sex workers

Background

Sex workers face high levels of violence, stigma, discrimination and other human rights violations. Due to their position in society, sex workers are vulnerable to physical, sexual and emotional violence from clients, police, the community and their intimate partners. This ranges from beatings, robbery and rape too being arrested for carrying condoms and being arbitrarily detained or bribed.

Violence is one of the most important factors affecting the vulnerability of sex workers to HIV/AIDS. Violence often causes inconsistent condoms use and stops sex workers from accessing necessary (legal) support and health care. It puts them in situations that make them considerably more vulnerable to HIV/Aids. Modelling estimates show that a reduction of almost 25% in HIV infections among sex workers may be achieved when physical or sexual violence is reduced.

People engaged in sex work in Southern Africa face high levels of violence, physical and sexual abuse. Sex work is presenty criminalized in all countries. Bylaws on public disorder, loitering and soliciting are used to prosecute sex workers. Sex workers who operate is settings where prostitution is criminalized face increased risk of violence and lack of acces to health care and the justice system. It leaves them vulnerable to abuse and increases their change of HIV infection. The region has the highest levels of HIV prevalence globally.

Goals

< 200,000 new HIV infections globally
50%
Contributed within this program
Everyone living with HIV worldwide receives treatment
50%
Contributed within this program

Projects within this programme

Hands Off! Sex Work South Africa SWEAT

Sex workers who operate in settings where sex work is criminalised face increase...

Hands Off! Sex Work Southern Africa African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA)

Sex workers who operate in settings where sex work is criminalised face increase...

Hands Off!: reducing violence against sex workers

This programme is part of Hands Off!: reducing violence against sex workers

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