Last week, the Uganda Key Populations Consortium (UKPC) and other civil society organisations released a statement strongly denouncing raids, arrests, extortion, and violent attacks targeting sex workers, barmaids and other vulnerable communities by police, Local Defense Units (LDUs), and Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) during the response to the spread of COVID-19.
Regional updates: Africa
Our members are listed on the left or you can click the red umbrellas on the map.
Regional Board Members
Phelister Abdalla (KESWA), Kenya
Patrick Fotso (Alcondoms Cameroun), Cameroon
The African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA) is a pan-African network of sex worker-led national networks and national and local organisations led by and/or working with female, male and transgender sex workers. It was formed in 2009 by sex workers and women’s activists and non-governmental organisations and is now based in Nairobi, Kenya.
News articles from Africa region are listed below.
At the end of February, the second case of COVID-19 was documented in an African country. Since then, the disease has spread to every region, resulting in nearly 32,000 confirmed cases and around 1,400 deaths.
Sex workers in Senegal, in western Africa, are struggling within the context of the pandemic, which has exposed existing inequalities and disproportionately affects people already criminalised, marginalised and living in financially precarious situations.
NSWP is seeking to recruit a Policy Officer to join our Policy Team, led by the Senior Policy Officer, working on developing global advocacy tools for our members and reviewing external policy documents in line with the NSWP Consensus Statement and the priorities set by the NSWP Board.
Sex workers are calling for more prevention and sensitisation work during the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, following the recent death of a sex worker in Eastern DRC.
Sex worker organisations and other human rights groups have condemned the arrest and violent mistreatment of women by police, who arrested more than 100 women at nightclubs in Abuja last week. It has been reported the women were arrested under sex work laws, although many of the women deny being sex workers.
The South African Government is considering a policy on decriminalisation of sex work, according to President Ramaphosa. The President told a number of organisations at an event last week that the government would: "finalize the outstanding legislation such as the prevention and combating [of] hate crime, the hate crime bill and victim support services. We will work with all stakeholders to develop policy around the decriminalization of sex work."
International human rights organisations have condemned recent the harassment and arrest of gay men in Tanzania, following comments from a government official on plans to establish a task force to identify, track down and arrest people suspected of being gay.
Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo is currently in the midst of a massive operation against sex workers.
Women’s and sex workers’ rights activists are protesting in Uganda following increasing numbers of violent attacks on women, including women sex workers. Groups report that kidnapping of women for ransom and murder have become increasingly common crimes in Uganda, and that there has not been sufficient investigation or justice for victims and their families.
The 17th Sex Worker Academy Africa (SWAA) has begun in Nairobi with 16 participants from three countries taking part.