HIV and Sex Work Conference in Mozambique

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1 Oct

In October 2007 an HIV and Sex Work Conference took place in Maputo (Mozambique). About 150 delegates from Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zimbabwe attended the conference to discuss a strategic plan aimed at addressing the spread of HIV among sex workers, as well as the risks sex workers face. The conference was organised by Mozambique's National AIDS Council and the United Nations Fund for Population Activities.

The conference publicly embraced a pro-sex-worker agenda that included calls for African governments to interrogate their legal and policy positions regarding prostitution. Speaking at the three day conference Mozambique’s Deputy Minister of Women’s Affairs and Social Welfare, Joao Kandiyane rejected the criminalisation of sex workers stating that, “what we want is that sex workers should be seen as human beings . . . rather than the current situation, where they are exploited and have nobody to defend them.”

Ndolamb Ngokwey, the coordinator of the United Nations system in Mozambique, also warned that discrimination against and marginalisation of sex workers limited their access to good quality health services, and drove them to work clandestinely.

The conference resulted in the Maputo all for Action, which calls for the elimination of violence, stigma, and discrimination against sex workers; the strengthening of legal and health support systems targeting sex workers; and the creation of partnerships advocating for sex workers’ rights.


Sex Work and Human Rights in Africa:  (journal article)
Fordham International Law Journal, Volume 33, Issue 4, Article 2 (2011)
By Chi Mgbako and Laura A. Smithy

Mozambique National AIDS Council, UNFPA Host Conference Aimed at Discussing HIV Prevention Among Sex Workers: (news article)
1 November 2007
By Kaiser Health News

Mozambique: Legal Framework for Rights of Prostitutes Needed: (news article)
5 November 2007
By All Africa

Mozambique: Conference On HIV And the Sex Trade Opens:
31 October 2007
By All Africa

Additional/related resources:
Universal Declaration of Commitment on HIV and AIDS: Mozambique Progress Report for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV and AIDS 45 (2006-2007): 
January 2008
By the Republic of Mozambique National AIDS Council