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NSWP denounces the harassment, arrests and detention of sex workers as part of the recently launched ‘Ujana’ programme in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Sixty-five sex workers were arrested on Thursday 19th November in Kisii County, Kenya. The following day, the sex workers were taken to Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital and tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The leading officer from the Kisii Governor’s Office, Mr. Patrick Lumumba, stated there were too many sex workers loitering the streets of Kisii, “spreading HIV and STIs to married men”.

This report summarises the deliberations of a one day event entitled “Labour of Love” held on 17th December 2010, hosted by Women’s Organization Network for Human Rights Advocacy (WONETHA) in partnership with Uganda Harmonized Rights Alliance (UHRA).  The event primarily sought to put a human face to the lives of sex workers as well as challenge the public silence on violence against them. The forum was attended by 55 participants, including sex workers, brothel owners and human rights activists. The event was organised against the background that sex workers have continuously suffered from abuse, discrimination and violence which often goes unreported and unacknowledged.  In particular, the event illuminated the achievements, coping mechanisms, challenges and recommendations regarding sex work.

Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMwA) created this document as a way to provide context for the sex worker rights movement by sharing the life stories of sex workers with others, in their own words, allowing them to share their dreams and experiences with others to help them better understand sex workers, and to help other sex workers find the value and power in their own experiences. Chapters include stories of sex workers, a guide to risk management tips for sex workers to have safer work lives, and a sex workers pledge.