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