Kenyan sex workers demand removal of TV documentary that outs sex workers and violates our rights!

PRESS RELEASE ON K24’s FEATURE, BWETA LA UHALIFU: NDOA HADAA

We, the undersigned, having noted with concern, the recent feature story by K24 TV’s Bweta La Uhalifu: Ndoa Hadaa, aired on Monday and Tuesday, July 8-9, 2013, at prime time, where they showed various sex work hotspots in Nairobi’s CBD, and having exposed the faces of some of the female sex workers and their clients, including their lodgings, wish to condemn the blatant exposure of the persons featured in this documentary by K24 and general content and messaging of the feature.

We note:

The disregard by the journalists and producers by showing, on live television, the faces of women who sell sex thereby exposing them to risk such as beatings, rejection, shame and discrimination.

The use of tricks by the show’s producers to blackmail and entice the sex workers into giving their personal stories and using hidden cameras, to capture faces and locations, is also suspect and in clear violation of journalism ethics and practices. 

The decision to show public exposure by some of the sex workers on live television was demeaning and dangerous to young persons who watch the show.

As the sex worker movement, we thus:

Would like to say that the sex workers exposed in the documentary were mothers, parents, sisters and aunts, grandmothers and therefore if their identities are not protected, their lives are in danger and at risk in the community and their family members.

Note that the documentary demeaned the women featured by not only exposing their faces and profession, but by asking degrading personal and sexual questions. 

Wish to inform you that due to recent media reports, we have experienced several killings and attacks from unknown persons against sex workers, both male and female and transgender. The media has a role to play in shaping how society treats its minorities and if not reported in a balanced, respectful and ethical way, are liable to attacks and other risks.

We demand that:

K24 remove further publishing of the documentary publicly and on social media and You Tube to further stop the damage done.

K24 issues an apology and retraction of the documentary to stop further public humiliation and stirring hate among Kenyans.

We would like to reiterate that sex workers rights must be respected at all times. Further, we call on the media and the Government to concentrate on more pressing social issues such as poverty, education, rising insecurities, food and others. What two consenting adults do in their own privacy harms no one.

 

Signed, July 9, 2013

Kenya Sex Workers Alliance (KESWA)

HOYMAS-Kenya

Bar Hostess and Empowerment Programme (BHESP)

Identity Kenya,

African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA)

Warembo Sasa

Bar Owners Group, 

Chaani PTC, 

Arise & Shine, 

Night Nurse, 

Shooting Stars, 

Bentrose Group, 

Changamka Self Help Group,

HAPA Kenya and all sex workers activists, individuals, organizations

Contacts: 0717662915 / keswa04@gmail.com