The African Sex Worker Alliance (ASWA) is a Pan African Alliance of sex worker-led groups that exist to strengthen their voices, to empower and to advocate for and advance the health and human rights of female, male and transgender sex workers including those living with HIV and using drugs through networking, movement building and development of partnerships. ASWA was formed in February 2009 with an initial membership drawn from 10 African countries. ASWA is a growing alliance of sex workers and sex worker partners seeking to contribute to social and economic justice for sex workers in Africa. Its vision is an empowered sex work industry where sex workers have equal access to human rights, social justice and health care in a dignified manner. Through this organizing ASWA presently has over 150 members from 35 African countries.
ASWA’s membership includes sex worker-led organizations and networks from across the African continent. ASWA works through regional structures that allow it to reach sex worker organizing in Francophone and Lusophone regions of the African continent. ASWA has a governing body comprising sex worker leaders from across the continent. ASWA is a sex worker-led organization with seven of the eight board members being women, one being a trans woman representing four regions of the African continent. Additionally, ASWA has a secretariat located in Nairobi, Kenya comprising of a management team focusing on finance, policy, and communication and is also a sex worker-led.
ASWA Vision: A world free of stigma and discrimination where sex work is recognized and protected as work.
ASWA Mission: ASWA is a Pan- African network of sex worker-led groups that amplifies the voices of sex workers, raises visibility and advocates for the human dignity of diverse community of sex workers working and living in Africa.
Guiding Principles and Values:
- Accountability and Transparency: We are accountable to our members and to our partners, and are always professional, committed and transparent in our work
- Equality and Justice: We treat all our members equally and ensure that all our members are treated fairly and justly.
- Voice and Agency: We ensure that our members have voice and agency, and they all are able to inform and guide ASWA’s activities.
- Respect: We respect all sex workers and understand respect as critical in building a strong and diverse community of African sex workers.
- Diversity and Inclusion: Working alongside other movements that agitate/aim to disrupt oppression
- Solidarity: We are a united community of diverse sex workers living and working in Africa.
Overview of ASWA’S 2021-2024 Strategic Framework
A strong, resilient and visible sex-worker-led continental movement that is transformative and responsive to the lived realities of all sex workers in Africa.
Strategic Objective 1
To enhance the skills, abilities, and knowledge of individual sex workers to allow them to be change agents at local, regional, and continental levels.
Strategic Objective 2
To enhance the effectiveness of sex worker groups/organizing structures and institutions that are responsive to the lived realities of sex workers.
Strategic Objective 3
To foster and nurture linkages between regional sex worker networks to proactively advocate for and promote the dignity and rights of sex workers in Africa and globally.
Strategic Objective 4
To strengthen the capacity for an adaptive and responsive coordinating mechanism for the realization of sex worker rights in Africa.
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