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Hands Off!

As a key factor in the vulnerability of sex workers to HIV & AIDS, violence leads to inconsistent condom use and prevents sex workers from accessing legal support and health care. Hands Off! worked with sex worker-led groups, law enforcement, health and support services, as well as legal centers and NGOs to reduce violence against sex workers through prevention, care, and support activities.

Project Date: 2015 - 2018
Funder: Soa Aids Nederland (Aids Fonds)
Country: Mozambique
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70% of sex workers have experienced violence in the last 12 months

Sex work and violence in Mozambique study 2016

32% of sex workers were verbally abused or judged by health care workers in the last 12 months

Sex work and violence in Mozambique study 2016

26% of sex workers experienced discrimination in accessing health services in the last 12 months

Sex work and violence in Mozambique study 2016

13% of HIV+ female sex workers don’t receive regular treatment

Sex work and violence in Mozambique study 2016

What We Did

  • Conducted a community-based participatory research study (Sex Work and Violence in Mozambique) to assess sex workers’ needs
  • Created opportunities for sex workers to work both with Pathfinder’s partners and a local sex workers’ organization, Tiyane Vavasate
  • Established networks for sharing views, approaches, and a collective movement in voicing female sex workers’ rights and supporting different types of sex workers in leadership
  • Created spaces to promote sex workers’ rights through sharing and participation in informal groups and on the web
  • Supported activities integrating the diversity of sex workers, such as female transsexuals
  • Conducted training activities focused on sex workers’ rights and supported dialogue with police around reducing violence against sex workers
  • Provided reliable field data in an environment where information on human rights violations towards sex workers is often underestimated

Project Staff Members

Riaz Mobaracaly

Senior Country Director

Riaz is a proven leader in public health with more than 10 years of experience in the management and implementation of national, provincial and district level health programs with specific focus on...

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