Who do you work with?:
Namibian Sex Workers Alliance is the umbrella body of all the sex workers led and focused organizations in Namibia. The Alliance works with partner organizations affiliated to the Alliance to support grassroots level work and strengthen organizations capacities in order to serve the sex workers community better. The Alliance equally represent sex workers at local, regional and International level to advocate for removal of punitive laws that incriminates sex workers, advocate for decriminalization and recognition of sex work, advocate for inclusion of sex workers in legislative frameworks of the country.
How are sex workers involved in your organisation?:
Sex workers through partners do have the leverage to voice and influence all our strategies, methodologies, and programs and activities that influence their lives and are able to measure the impact of our work. Sex workers are the driving force of the alliance and therefore are the main decision-makers within the alliance to ensure all our interventions are sex workers driven and influenced in a manner that will serve and uphold the dignity of all sex workers in Namibia.
Which of NSWP priority areas does your organisation work on?:
Oppose the criminalisation and other legal oppression of sex work and support its recognition as work
Critique the trafficking paradigm that conflates representations of sex work, migration, and mobility
Advocate for universal access to health services, including primary health care, HIV and sexual and reproductive health services
Speak out about violence against sex workers, including violence from police, institutions, clients, and intimate partners, while challenging the myth that sex work is inherently gender-based violence
Oppose human rights abuses, including coercive programming, mandatory testing, raids and forced rehabilitation
Challenge stigma and discrimination against sex workers, their families and partners, and others involved in sex work
Advocate for the economic empowerment and social inclusion of sex workers as sex workers
What are the two main challenges that the sex workers you work with face:
Sex workers face continuous Police abuse and verbal harassment, by continually arbitrarily arresting sex workers and aggressive questioning and conducting illegal search without legal basis. Verbal harassment and behaviors of police include threatening sex workers to be imprisoned. Sex workers are also victims of sexual harassment and victimized and sexually abused by the police due to the laws that incriminates soliciting in the absence of laws and policies that protects the rights of sex workers, the right to work, and the right to be treated in a dignified manner. There’s a lack of understanding and recognition of transgender women who engage in sex work in the sex work industry, and therefore foster discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, exclusion in all spheres of programmatic interventions that addresses the needs of sex workers. Thus creates segregation within the movement as transgender women are not recognized as women and most importantly that sex work has always been cis-gendered for many years.
Describe other areas of your work:
NAMSWA is currently busy sensitizing health care workers o to understand health as a human right that creates a legal obligation on health care workers to ensure timely, acceptable, comprehensive, and adequate health services are provided to sex workers regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity. This work reinforces that everyone has the right to health that is a complete state of physical, mental, and social wellbeing.