Women's Organization Network for Human Rights Advocacy (WONETHA) successfully concluded her 2nd National Sex Workers' conference themed "Stakeholders Reflecting On Sex Workers' Right To Health And Access To Services In Uganda" yesterday. The two-days conference that was held from 29th to 30th October 2018 transpired in Kampala at Grand Imperial Hotel . The main aim was to engage the sex workers’ community with various stake holders from the civil society, other key population organizations, local central government, Ministry of Health and the Uganda AIDS Commission.

The other objective was to ensure involvement of Most At Risk Populations in a clear HIV agenda as revised in the National HIV Strategic plan. Recently, the Ministry of Health contemplated on erasing MSMs and Transgender persons from its tools which was clearly detrimental to key populations especially those living with HIV. Therefore, this issue needed to addressed. “The theme was about solidarity,” Beyonce Karungi, the Executive Director of Trans Equality Uganda told Kuchu Times. “As a Transgender and sex work activist in solidarity, we advocated for the inclusion of Male and Transgender sex workers in the National HIV programming and we believe that this will be worked on," she added.

Kakande Cameron, the Executive Director of Men of The Night Uganda and one of the panelists at the conference was in agreement with Beyonce. In a statement to Kuchu Times, Cameron said, "The conference has been empowering through experience sharing. It has also created a platform to advocate for the inclusion of MSMs and Transgender sex workers in the National HIV programming. This has shown growth within the sex work movement in Uganda."

There were brainstorming discussions on how to acclimatize Most At Risk Populations especially female sex workers with knowledge on service delivery in the area of HIV based on their needs. The potent issue also reviewed how to minimize criminalization, stigma, discrimination and Gender Based Violence that hinders sex workers from utilizing the available health and legal services. Matters concerning Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights were emphasized in this dialogue.

Finally, the attendees reflected on the growth of the sex workers' movement in Uganda. While the successes were celebrated, interventions were collectively strategized for the challenges especially on how to hold the government and community leaders accountable in the advancement of HIV development actions. This was not only limited to the sex workers' movement but even transcended into the transgender and MSM communities.