Hands Off! Sex Work Southern Africa COC

Hands Off! Sex Work Southern Africa COC

Project

Sex workers who operate in settings where sex work is criminalised face increased risk of violence. The goal of the Hands Off! programme is to reduce violence against sex workers in Southern Africa. Under Hands Off! COC is tasked with the development of a training manual for law enforcement: the ‘South African Police Services Training Manual on Sensitisation of Law Enforcement Officers on Appropriate Services for Sex workers, People who Use Drugs and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people’. This manual will be adapted for the Zimbabwean and Botswana context. A training manual and training of trainers will be developed and tested together with partners and police.

Project details

Time frame
31 December 2014 - 29 June 2018
Budget
€ 287,800
Active in
Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe

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 build then an enabling and supportive environment is created for sex workers' rights. Specific outcomes of COC include: trained police officers who provide appropriate support to sex workers and increased willingness of sex workers to report human rights violations.

Community groups

Over the programme period more than 250 police officers will be strengthened in providing appropriate services for sex workers. They will be responsible for the roll out of the ‘South African Police Services Training Manual on Sensitisation of Law Enforcement Officers on Appropriate Services for Sex workers, People who Use Drugs and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people’ among their peers.

Background

Sex workers face high levels of violence, stigma, discrimination and other human rights violations. Linkages have been made between laws that criminalise sex work and increased vulnerability to violence. Sex work is currently criminalised in most Southern African countries through national laws and municipal by-laws. Due to the illegal status of sex work, sex workers experience difficulties in accessing health services and other social services. Perpetrators are clients, police, pimps, brother owners, but also family and community members.

The general service capacity of the Southern African police can be improved. Police officers commonly lack basic understanding of human rights principles and in some cases even of national laws. Sex workers encounter police officers who exploit them for monetary gain. Sex workers report to suffer an unwillingness to report rape or sexual harassment when attempting to report rape. They are often denied services when reporting a violation at the hands of a police officer.

Goals

Awareness, support in society, and full funding of the AIDS and STI response
80%
Contributed within this project
< 200,000 new HIV infections globally
20%
Contributed within this project

Other projects within the programme

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Hands Off! Sex Work South Africa SWEAT

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Hands Off!: reducing violence against sex workers

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

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