Kenyan sex workers express their fears as the number of killings targeting them rises.
Officials from the Kenya S€× Workers Alliance and the Africa S€× Workers Alliance revealed that five to ten s£× workers are killed each month.
They spoke in Nairobi at the introduction of the inaugural Global Report on S€x Workers Rights Defenders at Risk, which cites workplace violence and harassment as the primary cause of their deaths.
Grace Kamau, Chairperson of the Africa S€x Workers Alliance, described the situation as “unacceptable.”
“Every month, we are losing between five and ten sex workers in the country through mysterious deaths, which is unacceptable. We appeal to people to respect s€x workers and the business they do,” she said.
Front Line Defenders, an organization that defends human rights advocates in danger, conducted a poll of 300 s€x workers and s£x worker rights defenders in Tanzania, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, and El Salvador for the report.
It focused on the risks, threats and protection needs of the visible advocates for their rights. The chairperson of the Kenya S€× Workers Alliance, Caroline Njoroge, called on the government to create an enabling environment for the s¢x workers. She faulted the Nairobi County by-laws, which she termed as discriminatory.
“We are unhappy with the treatment s€× workers are getting. They are human beings who have rights too that should be respected,” she said.
She observed that many innocent s€× workers are imprisoned as a result of their campaigning for s€× workers’ rights in their various nations.
According to the officials, Covid-19 has had a significant impact on their business because most entertainment venues have either closed early due to curfew laws or have been totally shut down.
They stated that they are urging the government to decriminalise their work and ensure that their rights be respected. Dotty Ogutu, a Front Line Defender officer, condemned the harassment of individuals advocating for the rights of s€× workers.