This 17TH Day of December 2018, OGERA Uganda joins individuals and organizations around the world in honoring the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.

We carry with us millions of voices of sex workers in all our diversities in Uganda who continue to face all forms of violence and discrimination and yet are often sidelined from efforts for mitigation.

OGERA with great concern, recognizes that unfair laws, biases, stigma and hate, lack of disaggregated data to reflect on how violence, stigma and discrimination affect sex workers in terms of access to vital service like health, education, housing among others.

This statement demands that sex workers in Uganda are honestly, continuously and meaningfully engaged in decision making in all aspects that involve us.

It should be noted that advocating for sex workers’ rights is a reflection of human rights for all and it’s our country’s mandate to protect its citizens regardless of their different identities and affiliations.

We want sex workers to be able to live and work without the threat of death or any other form of violence which is a basic human right to which all people should have access to in all their different identities.

We also recognize the form of violence that is inflicted on sex workers through online platforms in regards to the nature of our work which is regarded as immoral and unacceptable.

This has mainly come from the different social networking platforms that seem so discriminative when it comes to issues concerning us.

We acknowledge that violence against sex workers vary from region to region depending on social and cultural contexts and we therefore call upon all government agencies, human rights organizations and women organizations from the main stream among others to work with us in amplifying our voices and address  issues of sex workers without judgment and discrimination and as well maintain social order and combat crime, and send those perpetrators to court rather than forcing  sex workers to withdraw violence cases

Photo credit: Kuchu Times Media Group

As OGERA Uganda, we pledge to continue working together with different partners, sex worker led organizations and allies, in ensuring that our voices are heard on issues concerning violence against sex workers in Uganda.

In closing, I would like to share some encouraging words from some of the prominent activists in Uganda all protocols observed:

“We can’t end the marginalization and victimization of all sex workers without fighting all kinds of phobia influenced by different prejudices.” Batte Shamilah-Executive Director, OGERA Uganda.