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Decriminalize Sex Workers

WE, undersigned organizations and individuals, under umbrella Mombasa Right2Know Imitative, strongly condemn continuous criminalization, stigmatization, violence and discrimination of sex workers in Mombasa County by National Police Service officers and County Government of Mombasa.

 Sex workers’ rights are human rights. We must decriminalize sex workers. Take note that we are  not taking a position on whether sex work should be formally recognized as work for the purposes of regulation.

Two research reports conducted by International Center for Policy and Conflict recently highlighted severe problems   and harm sex workers as minority group undergo in the hands of police, courts and county government.  The reports gave very specific recommendations on ways to resolve the rpobe4lms of minority groups like sex workers.

 We are opposed to sexual exploitation of any form. Sex workers should not be brutalized because they engage in consensual sex work. We encourage police and Mombasa County government to engage sex workers in a constructive dialogue in order to stop their harm and exploitation.

Criminalization of sex workers has contributed to human rights violations. By engaging sex workers and decriminalizing  their consensual sex  by adults , it will help address health challenges like rates of transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases

Specifically we are calling upon police and Mombasa County Government to prevent human rights violations against sex workers, review policies and laws that make sex workers vulnerable to human rights violations.

Further we want   discriminatory policies, laws and practices stopped because being discriminated against are often key factors in what leads people to engage in sex work, as well as in increasing vulnerability to human rights violations while engaged in sex work and in limiting options for voluntarily ceasing involvement in sex work.

We  call  County Government of Mombasa  to  take appropriate measures to  tackle inequality and unfair access to opportunities  and  ensure realization  the fully economic and  social rights of all people

 

Finally recognizing and respecting the agency of sex workers to articulate their own experiences and define the most appropriate solutions to ensure their own welfare and safety, while also complying with human rights principle regarding participation in decision-making

International Center for Policy and Conflict

Ambank House 13th Floor

Nairobi