On 26th August 2021, UNESO with financial support from African Sex Worker Alliance implemented a one day post Sex Work Academy Africa (SWAA) workshop for sex workers in Uganda.
The Sex Worker Academy Africa (SWAA) is a ground-breaking learning programme for community empowerment and capacity building, led by and for sex workers. It delivers an effective blend of knowledge and experience. The Academy is presented over the course of a week, and includes workshops, site visits and art advocacy sessions. The Academy is an African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA) initiative which is a regional Network and supported by the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) who assisted the concept of South-South learning and capacity building for sex workers.
The goal of the Academy is to strengthen sex worker-led organizations and communities across Africa, building capacity on local, national and regional levels and to also formalize The Sex worker implementing Tool -SWIT also known as (sex workers bible) is the foundation for the Academy curriculum.
ASWA was responsible for identifying the countries to attend the Academy and supports in-country organizations and UNESO as the national network was in charge of selecting the individuals to attend the Academy.
The workshop was facilitated by the six SWAA alumni’s 2020 who represented the Uganda sex work movement in the academy. The movement was represented by Nabukera Caroline – UNESO, Waseni Cindy – JEEWGA, Akumu Letica – OGERA, Kabagaya Grace – EDWA , Kyazze Anold – HFU and Akello Martha – VOICE.
The main objective of the activity was to Provide an important opportunity to engage sex workers on transformational change in the work of building a strong sex work movement in Uganda.
The activity specific objectives were;
- To provide feedback from the SWAA to sex workers in Uganda.
- To review and strengthen capacity of sex workers in advocacy for human rights.
- To identify and create new strategies to address the issue that affect sex workers in Uganda.
- To familiarizes sex worker leaders with SWIT and be able to adopt and use the tool.
The following are some of the modules in the training as highlighted below;
- Sex worker’s rights
- Community Empowerment
- Sex worker led community-based services
- Organizational capacity building
Workshop key action points.
- There is need to strengthen sex work led groups by supporting them to take on advocacy spaces and advocate on their own.
- UNESO need to promote purpose of clarity and uniformity among sex work organizations. Spear heading the agenda of promoting sex work as work and advocating for decriminalization of sex work in Uganda.
- COVID 19 and its effects have affected sex workers and sex worker led organizations therefore, there is need UNESO and other sex worker organizations to strategies and implement interventions that reduce the effects of COVID 19 among sex workers.
- UNESO and other sex worker networks at regional and international level should priorities advocating for amendment of all punitive laws, polices that criminalize sex work and encourage violations of sex workers in all their diversity.
Conclusion. The activity was implemented to mark SWAA workshop for sex workers in Uganda complete , the SWAA alumnis were able to share and transfer the knowledge learned from the SWAA to their peers .