South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma, in a response to Parliament, has pledged his continued support for the decriminalisation of sex work. The decriminalisation of sex work will remain on the agenda of the newly appointed SA Law Reform Commission (SALRC), President Zuma said earlier this week, reported News 24, a South Africa based news agency.
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.
Sex workers, men who have sex with men and truck drivers in Benin will benefit from a new US$68.8 million in new HIV grants from the Global Fund, it has been reported.
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria signed the grant with the Benin Government in mid-October in an event in Cotonou attended by Benin’s Health Minister, Dorothée Kinde Gazard, and the Global Fund’s Director for Africa and the Middle East, Lelio Marmora.
Media reports from several African countries indicate that sex workers are being unfairly targeted by authorities causing concern to sex workers rights activists across the region.
Reports from Ghana and Botswana show that police have been arresting sex workers and in some instances deporting some of them.
A new report highlighting the interconnectedness of the LGBTIQ and sex worker rights movement in East Africa says that both these movements have greatly contributed to social justice in the region.
The African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA) joins NSWP in condemning the latest attack on sex workers' rights, an attack which takes the form of a campaign against several UN agencies' recommendations to decriminalise sex work.
The Commission on Gender Equality (CGE) has urged Parliamentarians to decriminalise sex work in South Africa. The CGE made the call as it presented a position paper on sex work in South Africa to parliamentarians in August, 2013.
"Decriminalisation means: repeal all laws against sex work," CGE commissioner Janine Hicks said at the announcement of the institution's position.
Female sex workers across Kenya who are living with HIV have formed several groups to offer support and assist them economically.
A study of sex workers in four African countries has found out that sex workers face gross human rights violations and abuse due to the criminal nature of their work.
‘Human rights abuses and collective resilience among sex workers in four African countries: a qualitative study’ released in early August by a team of researchers who talked to female, male and transgender sex workers in Kenya, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe, found that unlawful arrests and detention, violence, extortion as well as societal exclusion ‘had an extreme impact on the physical, mental and social wellbeing of this population.’
‘The majority of countries in the world have punitivelaws against sex work,’ the report states, ‘… virtually throughout Africa, this occupation is an explicit criminal offence.’
‘This criminalization and the intense stigma attached to the profession shapres interactions between sex workers and their clients, family, fellow community members, and societal structures such as the police and social services.’
‘In Her Heels’ is a sensitisation training tool that puts participants in sex workers' shoes – using story cards and different scenarios that are based on sex workers real life stories.
The narratives challenged the public to empathise and walk in the sex workers ‘high heels’ to reflect on stories of rape, abuse, shame.
At the launch participants were also asked to literally wear high heels (which were provided) before entering the 'In Her Heels' training space. Nearly a hundred people participated.
Tanzania should decriminalise consensual adult sex work by removing or modifying article 176(a) of the Tanzania Penal Code and 181(a) of the Zanzibar Penal Code, which criminalises sex work, as well as other laws related to sex work that may infringe on human rights, including laws on “harbouring prostitutes” and “living off the earnings of prostitution,” Human Rights Watch has said in a July 18 report.