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Killings will not stop sex workers

Sunday April 4 2010

We condemn in the strongest terms the recent killings of sex workers in Thika and Naivasha.

The death of a sex worker is the death of a woman, a mother, a sister, a Kenyan.

The world of sex workers is one full of violence, crime and suspicion.

There is always trouble, be it from the security guards, establishment managers, patrons, law enforcement officers, clients or neighbours.

Most programmes targeting sex workers seek to address HIV/Aids and although HIV and other health concerns are a daily reality, they always take a back seat whenever sex workers discuss their plight.

The urgency to escape the ever violent situation precedes the need to use protection or say “no” to a violent client.

Thousands of women are engaged in sex work in Kenya.

It is time we recognised this and involved sex workers in finding solutions to their problems.

Arbitrary arrests, violence and killings will not stop sex work. Neither will condemning or ignoring the existence of sex work.

Bar Hostess Empowerment and Support Programme