Hands Off! Sex Work South Africa SWEAT

Hands Off! Sex Work South Africa SWEAT

Project

Sex workers who operate in settings where sex work is criminalised face increased risk of violence. The goal of Hands Off! is to reduce violence against sex workers in South Africa through prevention, care and support. Both SWEAT and the sex worker-led organisation Sisonke focus on developing and sustaining relationships with potential allies. They also lobby and advocate for decriminalisation of sex work through the Asijiki coalition. SWEAT’s Legal Defence Centre provides legal services, human rights education and referrals where needed. Sisonke provides health and human rights information for sex workers across the country, using peer educators who implement the outreach programme. The organisation provides community led response in cases of violence through its helpline and identifies sex worker friendly services for referral.

Project details

Time frame
31 December 2014 - 30 July 2019
Budget
€ 380,360
Active in
South Africa

Western Cape, Gauteng, Durban, Limpopo, Eastern Cape, East London, Mpumulanga

Show location details

Objectives

Hands Off! partners aim to reduce violence against sex workers through (sustainable) prevention, care and support. If sex workers are empowered and supported at individual and community level, (potential) allies are strengthened to respond to violence against sex workers and regional capacity and knowledge to promote sex workers’ rights is built then an enabling and supportive environment is created for sex workers' rights. Outcomes of SWEAT’s work include an empowered network of sex workers able to advocate for their rights and increased access to legal services.

Community groups

Around 150 sex workers will be able to speak in public and advocate for their own rights. Over the programme implementation period the national help line, the Legal Defence Centre and the activities implemented by SWEAT and Sisonke will reach over 10.000 sex workers. Each year sex workers will attend around 10 high level meetings to advocate for sex workers’ rights.

Background

Sex workers face high levels of violence, stigma, discrimination and other human rights violations. Criminalisation of activities associated with sex work is considered a major factor in violence against sex workers. Due to the illegal status of sex work, sex workers experience difficulties in accessing health and other social services. Violence is one of the most important factors affecting the vulnerability of sex workers to HIV/AIDS. Violence often causes inconsistent condom use and stops sex workers from accessing necessary (legal) support and health care.

There are between 132.000 and 182.000 sex workers in South Africa. Most sex workers are female, and around four percent transgender- and five percent male sex workers. HIV prevalence among sex workers is around 59.6%. The Hands Off! needs assessment shows that 71% of sex workers experienced violence in the past year. Psychological and trauma support is a key service gap.

Goals

< 200,000 new HIV infections globally
40%
Contributed within this project
Awareness, support in society, and full funding of the AIDS and STI response
20%
Contributed within this project
Everyone living with HIV worldwide receives treatment
40%
Contributed within this project

Other projects within the programme

Hands Off!: reducing violence against sex workers

The Hands Off programme works on the reduction of violence against sex workers i...

Hands Off! Sex Work Southern Africa African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA)

Sex workers who operate in settings where sex work is criminalised face increase...

Hands Off!: reducing violence against sex workers

This project is part of Hands Off!: reducing violence against sex workers

Aidsfonds.org uses cookies to offer the best website experience possible and to anonymously analyze website behaviour. More information.