WONETHA, the Women's Organisation Network for Human Rights Advocacy, works on strengthening the sex work community in Uganda. By investing in advocacy and leadership training of sex workers WONETHA will increase the capacity of sex workers to lobby and advocate for their own rights. To increase the body of evidence on human rights violations of sex workers in Uganda, WONETHA implements data collection tools and a research on the implications of violence against sex workers. Next to that, WONETHA participates in national and international conferences to advocate for sex workers rights, to engage stakeholders and develop new partnerships. They fight against stigma & discrimination by organising sensitisation workshops for religious leaders, journalists and parliamentarians.

Project details

Time frame
01 October 2016 - 31 December 2020
€ 318,958
Active in


Partners under PITCH aim to beat the AIDS epidemic in countries that are most affected by HIV. If sex workers have equal access to HIV-related and sexual and reproductive services, if equal and full rights for sex workers are realised and if a strong civil society exists then sex workers will be able to work under safe conditions. Specific outcomes of WONETHA are a strong sex work community in Uganda and enhanced collaboration between key stakeholders working towards increased rights for sex workers.

Community groups

WONETHA will support over 40 sex workers in building their skills to advocate for their own rights. Activities target all sex workers in Uganda as well as the general public, health care workers, parliamentarians and other stakeholders.


Sex work is criminalised in Uganda. Access to health services is limited due to travel distances; sex worker friendly health clinics are often far from sex worker hotspots. Sex workers are often stigmatised and discriminated against. The government has multiple laws that punish sex workers. There is the anti-pornography act, the transmission of HIV is criminalised and there is the NGO act that impedes work that does not comply with the constitution. However, sex worker organisations are strong and visible in Uganda.

The overall HIV prevalence is estimated at 7.25%. There is no available updated data on the number of people living with HIV within each key population group. Although there is some political presence in the national HIV response, strong political will directed towards implementation and achievement is absent. There is entrenched resistance to progress to addressing laws criminalising same-sex sexual behaviour, sex work, and drug use.

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