The ‘Hands Off!’ programme

Hands Off! is an initiative funded by Dutch organisation, Aids Fonds, whose aim is to contribute towards the reduction of violence against sex workers and reduce HIV infection as a result of violence in Southern Africa. The programme offers a comprehensive and joined-up approach to working with sex workers, police, law enforcement and service providers in Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe to work on better living and working conditions for sex workers, to understand where their needs lay for law enforcement support and to work closely with police on positive attitude towards sex workers.

The Hands Off! programme uses a joint approach, working with a wide range of institutions such as sex worker-led groups, law enforcement, health and support services, legal centres and NGO’s working on human rights.

The program ensures meaningful participation by sex workers. To develop appropriate interventions, we conducted a needs assessment among 1700 sex workers in the region to map their needs and issues.

The Hands Off! programme is supported by the Dutch Embassy in Mozambique. The programme started in January 2015 and will end in June 2019.  We work with 12 local partners in five countries in Southern Africa.



  • Sisonke Botswana (sex worker led organisation, and ASWA member)
  • BONELA (partner)


  • Rights Not Rescue Trust (sex worker led organisation and ASWA member)


  • Tiyane Vavassate (sex worker led organisation, and ASWA member)
  • PathFinder International (partner)

South Africa

  • Sisonke (sex worker led organisation, and ASWA member)
  • SWEAT (partner)


  • Pow Wow (sex worker led organisation, and ASWA member)
  • Women’s Legal Centre (partner)
  • Sexual Rights Centre (partner)
  • Regional organisations


  • COC
  • North Star Alliance