Three new resources have been published by UNFPA / UNAIDS, in partnership with ASWA and The Society for Family Health, on sex worker rights and HIV in Namibia and are now available in our 'Resources' section (or just click on the name of the document below.)
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.
UNAIDS recently feature this story on the front page of their website about sex workers in both Namibia and Kenya advocating for their rights of access to health care and legal services, including coverage of the demontrations for International Sex Worker Rights Day on 3rd March. It is certainly significant to see stories such as this being given such prominence on the UNAIDS site.
Matthew Greenall on his Epidreamiology blog has however challeged a couple of significant accuracies carried in the article, specifically about sex owrkers not being able to negotiate condom use; and regarding exactly why sex workers asked for changes in laws and policies that impact on their lives.
The reality sex workers face in Namibia was revealed in a UNFPA community assessment conducted in five towns in which more than 200 sex workers participated.
The Global Network of Sex Work Projects condemns the current situation of sex worker activists in Kenya and the harassment being experienced by human rights defenders in Nairobi.
The following is a summary of the press release from colleagues in Kenya and South Africa, in relation to recent events in Nairobi. You can also view or download the full press release below.
Colleagues at the ‘Forum on the Rights of Sex Workers in Togo’ have called for support to help advocate to obtain the release of sex workers recently arrested near Lomé – and in engaging with the various the authorities in Togo for legislation to protect the rights of sex workers.
On Saturday January 7 2012 at around 2200hrs a team of police from Kpalimé (120km northwest of Lomé) raided hotels and hostels known for being places where street sex workers go, and arbitrarily arrested several people.
Watch this great video of NSWP member organisation ASWA's Mozambique Coordinator Laila Matsinhe being interviewed at ICASA here.
Harassment by police and humiliation at clinics mean just 5 percent of sex workers in South Africa are getting access to health care.
Research by the Sex Worker Education Advocacy Taskforce (Sweat), says up to 60 percent of sex workers nationwide were HIV-positive.
Micky Meji, national co-ordinator of the Africa Sex Worker Alliance, added that the infection rate was higher due to harassment by police, who often confiscated condoms from sex workers.
You can read the full story as reported in the South African Daily News here.
The Regional Dialogue for sub-Saharan Africa, part of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, was held at the beginning of August in Pretoria, South Africa.
Article on the Sojourner Project website here highlighting the work of SWEAT, WONETHA and ASWA.