African Sex Worker Alliance Statement

Delegates from the African Sex Worker Alliance (ASWA) and a church leader from Nigeria gathered in Pretoria from the 28th September to 10th October for a second historic meeting as a follow up to the first ever African sex worker lead conference in February 2009.

A total of 40 Sex workers and 24 alliance partners committed to the human rights of sex workers from Southern, Eastern and Western Africa under went strategic review and human and health rights defense. We recognize and acknowledge the importance and necessity of an African human rights approach in redressing human rights issues among sex workers. We understand and appreciate the vulnerability, diversity, strength and resilience of sex workers and need to create sex worker lead alliances and safe spaces for the voices of sex workers in order to enable access to justice and health care in a dignified manner.

We have resolved to vigorously pursue the following objectives:

1) Remove structural and legal barriers to accessing health and human rights and gender equality 2) Promote universal access to sexual and reproductive health rights and other services 3) Ensure the establishment of strategic partnerships and sustainability. 4) Facilitate capacity building and sex worker leadership at all levels 5) Document and strengthen evidence based interventions

We have agreed to engage all stakeholders in our respective countries in demanding our inalienable Human Rights and dignity, holding role players in government, specifically, the sectors of health and justice accountable to their delivery mandates.

We want to provide solidarity with the Kenyan Minister of Special Programs who is facing intimidation from groups that are intolerant to the rights of sex workers and Lesbian, Gay, Trans gendered, and Inter sexed groups and MSM. We urge civil society to stand with the honorable minister Dr. Esther Murugi on her principled stance. We take this opportunity to request a dialogue with all governments in Africa to address these human rights concerns. To this end we have decided to hold a press conference to highlight our resolutions and strategic plans in pursuing the above objectives.

The press conference will take place at 17H00 at Pretoria, on the 6th of October 2010 at SBH Hotel at 17h00. For further details contact Eric Harper 0741866976.