The Supreme Court of Zimbabwe has quashed the decision by the country’s High Court barring the Sexual Rights Centre (SRC) in Bulawayo from holding a peaceful demonstration to highlight the gross violations sex workers face.
In December 2015, the Police Commissioner of Bulawayo refused to grant a permit to the organisation to hold a march to observe the International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers, which takes place annually on 17 December.
Applauding the decision, the Centre said the ruling provides an opportunity to create awareness on issues facing workers and to encourage dialogue among key stakeholders especially in the public and health sectors in Zimbabwe.
“In Zimbabwe, sex workers and other marginalised persons are extremely vulnerable to violence, stigma and abuse. In a democratic society such as Zimbabwe, it is important that we create awareness and dialogue aimed at preventing such abuse and the impunity associated with it,” says Humphrey Ndondo, SRC Executive Director.
Consequently, sex workers in Zimbabwe are looking forward to joining the rest of the work next month to mark the International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers.
“The right to peaceful demonstration and assembly are important rights in any democratic society. They are beneficial since they increase appreciation in society of diverse ideas and opinions and bolster social cohesion,” says Tashwill Esterhuizen, Programme Lawyer at the Southern Africa Litigation Centre.
The Sexual Rights Centre is a national human rights organisation based in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, which promotes and encourages openness and tolerance to address stigma and discrimination affecting vulnerable and marginalised persons.