Hands Off II: reducing violence against sex workers

Hands Off II: reducing violence against sex workers

Training religious leaders on becoming agents of change to empower sex workers

Training religious leaders on becoming agents of change to empower sex workers


This week INERELA+ will train the first group of religious leaders of their interfaith network in five countries to become agents of change who help eliminate stigma and discrimination against sex workers within their faith communities. With the support of our Hands Off programme, INERELA+ developed a training curriculum on sex work to empower them to challenge stigma against sex workers. Because of their influential position in communities in the Hands Off countries, religious leaders are in a unique position to create a more supportive environment for sex workers. During the training, religious leaders will learn more about the issues faced by sex workers, sex workers’ rights, how criminalisation of sex work increases risk of violence and HIV infection and how to ensure the human dignity of all members of their community, including the human dignity of sex workers.

...we hope that after the training, more religious leaders will engage in effective advocacy activities to tackle challenges that sex workers experience and to make sure that sex workers can exercise their SRHR...

What the training will achieve

A message from INERELA+
 

Religious or Interfaith Leaders are a group of people who are very influential and revered by people within different communities and societies. Evidence exists of their ability to influence social change through their teachings and sermons and engage with a wide range of stakeholders to create impact at policy level.


INERELA+ (International Network of Religious Leaders Living with OR Personally Affected by HIV & AIDS), through faith leaders, has consistently been at the forefront of advocating for the adoption of the human dignity approach to issues that focus on HIV and AIDS, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and Gender-Based Violence (GBV); especially for Key Populations or Inadequately Served Populations (ISP).
 

The training of change agents will catalyse the process of further empowering religious leaders as change agents for the Hands Off Programme. They will be provided with skills and comprehensive knowledge on how to contribute to the reduction of violence against sex workers through creating an enabling environment and lobbying for law and policy reforms. Further to that, Religious Leaders will be equipped on how to tackle key issues that affect Sex workers amongst other SRHR related issues. 
 

We hope that after the training, more religious leaders will engage in effective advocacy activities to tackle challenges that sex workers experience and to make sure that sex workers can exercise their SRHR. Furthermore, we envisage that religious leaders will be skilled enough to support change that will bring about safer environments for sex workers.

 I (as well as my pastor colleagues) learnt so much! We now realise that the church must support sex workers, uphold the dignity of sex workers and recognise that sex work is a profession like any other. We need to accept this reality and not regard sex workers as outcasts or people to be suppressed. My mandate now is to train other ministers to extend the ministry with sex workers. (training particpant, Botswana) 

Manual 30 September 2021

Training manual on sex work for religious leaders

This training manual was developed by INERELA+ with support of Aidsfonds. It&nbs...

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