- Reduce human rights violations perpetrated against sex workers;
- Monitor, seek redress for and/or report on human rights violations, including supporting victims of human rights abuses;
- Train sex workers as paralegals and have one as an intern, who shall be instrumental
- in raising human rights awareness and empowerment to other sex workers;
- Train sex workers on human rights and the laws relating to arrests;
- Promote observance and implementation of international human rights standards in relation to sex workers through working with the police, monitoring their work and training;
- Limit the use of criminal laws relating to rogues and vagabonds and sex work-related offences
- against sex workers through training of sex workers and the police so that the enforcement of the
- laws are limited to cases where there is real exploitation or serious nuisances.
- Raise awareness among members of the communities in the targeted areas of the need to protect sex workers from abuse.
Protecting sex workers from abuse
With funding from the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA), the Centre for Human Rights Education Advice and Assistance (CHREAA) is implementing the ‘Protecting Sex Workers from Police Abuse’ project, whose goal is to eradicate abuse of sex workers by the police in Blantyre. Background The Malawi Penal Code contains the so-called vagrancy laws, which various studies have condemned for targeting the poor without delivering justice or upholding law and order. Pertinent to this project are Section 180 which targets idle and disorderly persons and Section 184 which criminalises rogues and vagabonds. These laws are used especially during so-called sweeping exercises when the police round up suspected criminals and other people, especially those deemed to be loitering in public places, such as bars, usually at night. An observation made against the two sections is they the police arbitrarily apply them to arrest people who can authoritatively be classified as neither idle and disorderly nor rogue and vagabonds. Particularly vulnerable to these laws are sex workers whom police routinely pick off the streets, in bars or lodges and arrest them. Most of the sex workers rarely get charged, let alone tried, largely because the police harass them by demanding money or sexually abuse them as a condition for being let off the hook. Purpose of the Project