Asijiki Coalition: Sex Work and Covid-19 Webinar

Unlawful Policing and a renewed urgency for the decriminalisation of sex work

This is a report of the webinar hosted by the Asijiki Coalition on the 8th July 2020. The webinar explored the impact of COVID-19 on the lives of sex workers and the continued unlawful policing of sex work, as well as recent policy developments that support the continued call for the decriminalisation of sex work in South Africa. The Asijiki Coalition for the Decriminalisation of Sex Work (“Asijiki”) is a group of sex workers, activists, advocates and human rights defenders who advocate for law reform for the decriminalisation of sex work in South Africa.

This is part of a wider conversation to reduce human rights violations experienced by sex workers as perpetrated by law enforcement; and contributes to the aims and objectives of the Positive Policing Partnership (PPP) to catalyse positive change in the operational policing experience of sex workers through evidence-based research, policy interventions and actions.

Facilitated by Ishtar Lakhani, an activist and creative activism consultant, the panel included five powerful speakers: Kholi Buthelezi from the national sex worker movement Sisonke, Chriscy Blouws from the Women’s Legal Centre (WLC), Dr Tlaleng Mofakeng from the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) in South Africa, Skye Wheeler from Human Rights Watch (HRW), and Duduzile Dlamini from the Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT).