PITCH Sex Work Zimbabwe SRC

PITCH Sex Work Zimbabwe SRC

Project

Sex work in Zimbabwe is still criminalised, increasing sex workers’ risk of violence. The goal of the project is to ensure equal access to health and legal services for sex workers and having a strong civil society able to advocate for sex workers rights. Under PITCH, Sexual Rights Centre (SRC) is implementing a capacity building programme supporting advocates to lobby and advocate for sex workers’ rights. Sex workers will be trained in citizen journalism. To increase sex workers’ access to justice, SRC trains legal practitioners in public interest litigation and providing legal services. SRC attends quarterly advocacy platforms between coalition members, partner forums and the Parliament to advocate for health and rights services for sex workers.

Project details

Time frame
30 September 2016 - 30 December 2020
Budget
€ 444,727
Active in
Zimbabwe

Bulawayo, VicFalls, Plumtree, Siphezini/Oak

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Objectives

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 SRCs work include decreased stigma and discrimination of sex workers, increased insight in incidences of human rights violations and engaged stakeholders supporting sex workers’ rights. Long-term objectives include improved targeted services for sex workers and improved political accountability.

Community groups

During the project implementation period, over 20 sex workers will become citizen journalists and report on human rights violations. Around 100 sex workers will have extensive human rights knowledge and 20 paralegals will work towards increased access to legal support for sex workers.

Background

While it is officially not a crime to sell sex in Zimbabwe it is illegal to solicit clients, live on the earnings of sex work and to facilitate and procure sex work. May 2015 Zimbabwe’s constitutional court issued a landmark ruling that arresting suspected sex workers for loitering is illegal. As a result police can no longer arrest women on charges of soliciting without a complainant or evidence from the client involved. While there is a notable decrease in the number of arrests, sex workers continue to report arbitrary arrests. Zimbabwe remains a challenging context to work in, especially for civil society and community organisations operating on sensitive topics.

HIV prevalence among sex workers is estimated at 38-70 percent. Limited access to sexual and reproductive health services as well as limited access to legal services are affecting sex workers.

Goals

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

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