Being a sex worker in Africa is becoming even more difficult with restrictive laws being passed in a number of countries. Various countries have started to take deliberate actions to restrict the human rights of sex workers by imposing legislation or by-laws that ban sex workers from working. In several countries, including the DRC, Cameroon, and Kenya sex work is not illegal but most activities surrounding sex work such as managing a brothel or soliciting are.
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
Aimée Furaha (UMANDE), Democratic Republic of Congo
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.
Uganda's Anti-Pornography Act, was signed into law by President Y. Museveni on February 6, 2014. This act has had disastrous consequences for women in Uganda since its assension. Numerous women, including female sex workers, have been harrassed (sexually and otherwise) and/or assaulted by mobs who target women they deem to be 'sexually exciting' men as one of the vague terms in the wording of the act stipulate.
The Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP), implemented a global project to identify and document best practices undertaken by sex workers in carrying out programmes related to sex work and HIV; to identify and document issues of sex workers and their access to HIV‑related treatment and the impact of free trade on this access; and to identify and document the impact of programmes relating to HIV directed at sex workers which fail to include a human rights‑based approach.
NSWP values diversity and encourages applications from individuals with sex work experience and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.We are still seeking a regional correspondent to research and write up the history of NSWP and the sex worker rights movement in LATIN AMERICA.
Image Credit (c) WOPI
A Coalition of more than 50 civil society organisations (Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law) advocating for non-discrimination in Uganda filed a petition at the Constitutional Court in Uganda on 11 March 2014.
The ongoing debate on homosexuality in Kenya is likely to affect the fight against HIV, Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia has said.
In a statement, Mr Macharia said Men having Sex with Men are among key groups that contribute to new HIV infections in Kenya and called for a sober approach on the debate.
President Museveni of Uganda today has assented to the Anti-Homosexuality bill which now becomes law. According to the president homosexuality is due to a person’s environment and not due to a person born homosexual and as such it [homosexuality] can be fought. The bill proposes a raft of measures to criminalise, stigmatise, victimise and intimidate anyone suspected of being homosexual or promoting homosexuality in any way. Prison sentences ranging from a few years to life imprisonment will be handed to those who are convicted under the new legislation.
Following reports that the Botswana Government is planning to target, arrest and possibly deport sex workers in the country, several human rights organisations have come out to strongly condemn this move.
The AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA) and the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, in a statement, strongly denounced this campaign and called for an end of the campaign.