By Dorothy Kachingwe, Banthu Times 16/08/2013
SADC sex workers from Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Malawi , Tanzania , South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe are demanding to have an audience with African heads of states to propose the formulation of a sex workers’ charter that respects their human rights across the region.
The organised group of sex workers have been complaining that their rights are often been violated through police harassments, clients not paying up their fees , poor access to health services and public condemnation of sex work by many religious organisations.
“We are asking for the recognition of our rights, at the end of the day we are human beings and we need that aspect of humanity.” Said the group.
“We call for formulation of a charter that respects our rights and recognises our valued services to the community therefore we need fair access to health services and the ending of sex workers’ human rights violations. We ask SADC to take our case seriously.” Mercy Thapelo ,a sex worker from Botswana , whose name is concealed for privacy reasons, spoke to Banthu Times
In most Southern African countries, sex work is illegal however sex workers who are assaulted or illegally arrested and harassed by police end up suffering in silence as they are too afraid to report to authorities.