Hands Off! Sex Work Southern Africa North Star Alliance (NSA)

Hands Off! Sex Work Southern Africa North Star Alliance (NSA)

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 through prevention, care and support. North Star Alliance (NSA) provides health services at Road Wellness Clinics to truck drivers, sex workers and surrounding communities along the transport corridor. Under Hands Off! NSA will increase sex worker access to their services by working with peer educators. Support groups and (reproductive) health services such as pap smears will be implemented and provided. Crisis Response Teams, consisting of peer educators, sex workers and religious leaders and police will work on a more supportive environment for sex workers around the clinic sites.

Project details

Time frame
31 December 2014 - 30 July 2019
Budget
€ 589,580
Active in
Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe

Ngodwana, Musina, Bloemfontein, Pomona, Victoria Falls, Kazungulu, Beitbridge

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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 NSA’s work include increased access to health for sex workers and strong allies and duty bearers able to respond to violence against sex workers.

Community groups

Each year, around 10.000 sex workers will receive direct health care services from NSA by accessing health services in NSA's mobile clinics along the transport corridor. 19 peer educators will provide education, care and support at the truck stops and surrounding areas at 9 sites. Five additional peer educators will be trained as a trainer. They will provide onsite training to 240 sex workers at the clinic sites on health, rights and safety.

Background

Sex work and informal trades flourish at border posts, transit towns and ports where truck stops are located. As most truckers stop overnight at these sites, sex worker activity is more prominent during the evening hours and after dark. Sex workers face many dangers such as physical and verbal abuse, non-payment or harassment by police officials. 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.

Sex work is criminalised in most countries in Southern Africa. Bylaws on public disorder, loitering and soliciting are used to prosecute sex workers. Sex workers who work in countries where sex work is criminalised face increased risk of violence. Sex workers often lack access to health and legal services. The region has the highest levels of HIV prevalence globally.

Goals

< 200,000 new HIV infections globally
50%
Contributed within this project
Everyone living with HIV worldwide receives treatment
50%
Contributed within this project

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