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

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

Project

Sex workers who operate in settings where sex work is criminalised face increased risk of violence. The goal of Hands Off! is to reduce violence against sex workers in Southern Africa through prevention, care and support. ASWA will be strengthening the sex worker movement in the region as the regional sex worker alliance. Their main activity will be to build leadership among the sex worker community by organising a Champions Academy where sex workers from across the region are trained in lobby and advocacy. ASWA will document best practices for non-violence in the region and do regional lobby and advocacy.

Project details

Time frame
31 December 2014 - 30 July 2019
Budget
€ 130,000
Active in
Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe

Objectives

Hands Off! partners aim to reduce violence against sex workers through (sustainable) prevention, care and support. If sex workers are empowered and supported at individual and community level, (potential) allies are strengthened to respond to violence against sex workers and regional capacity and knowledge to promote sex workers’ rights is built then an enabling and supportive environment is created for sex workers' rights. One of the outcomes ASWA specifically focuses on is reduced violence against sex workers by building capacity of sex workers to engage at national and regional level and by advocating for sex workers’ rights.

Community groups

157 sex workers from across Southern Africa will be able to advocate for their own rights. One shadow report at the African Commission of Human and Peoples’ Rights will be submitted.

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 to 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 condom use and stops sex workers from accessing necessary (legal) support and health care.

The Hands Off! needs assessment shows that main perpetrators of physical violence against sex workers are clients and law enforcement workers. Results reflect the importance of decriminalisation of sex work as sex workers report to experience more violence in countries where sex work or activities associated with sex work is criminalised.

Goals

< 200,000 new HIV infections globally
20%
Contributed within this project
Everyone living with HIV worldwide receives treatment
20%
Contributed within this project
Awareness, support in society, and full funding of the AIDS and STI response
60%
Contributed within this project

Other projects within the programme

Hands Off!: reducing violence against sex workers

Hands Off aims to use police sensitization, rapid response methods and sex worke...

Hands Off! Sex Work South Africa SWEAT

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

Hands Off!: reducing violence against sex workers

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

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