New research from The African Sex Worker Alliance, Bar Hostess, Sisonke and SWEAT

African Sex Worker Alliance (ASWA), Bar Hostess, Sisonke and SWEAT

The African Sex Worker Alliance (ASWA), Bar Hostess, Sisonke and SWEAT in conjunction with the Ford Foundation, OXFAM NOVIB, UNDP and OXFAM GB have launched new research on human rights violations against sex workers .

Over the past year the African Sex Worker Alliance (ASWA) has conducted two major pieces of research: "'I expect to be abused and I have fear': Sex workers’ experiences of human rights violations and barriers to accessing healthcare in four African countries" and "An Exploratory Study of the Social Contexts, Practices and Risks of Men Who Sell Sex in Southern and Eastern Africa." 

The first piece of research was lead by Fiona Scorgie, Daisy Nakato, Phelister Abdalla,  Patience Nkomo, Sihle Sibanda, 'Mpho Netshivhambe and Pamela Chakuvinga. It documents the human rights violations experienced by female, male and transgender sex workers in four African countries (Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and Zimbabwe), and describes barriers they face to accessing health services. Through cross-country comparison and documention of sub-regional trends, the study moves beyond previous often-localized descriptions of violations against sex workers in Africa. The study also fills information gaps about violations in male and transgender sex workers in these settings. 

The aim of the second research is to explore the social contexts, life experiences, vulnerabilities and sexual risks experienced by men who sell sex in Southern and Eastern Africa, with a focus on five countries; Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe. As well as seeking to better understand differing and similar socio-cultural scenarios and personal life stories of male sex workers in these countries a key aim was to improve representation of male sex workers in relevant regional organisations, particular within the African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA) – members of which participated in and supported this research process.