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Celebration of the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers December 2021



On 18th & 19th December 2021, WEKA Organisation was able to convene 30 sex worker members from the Ruzizi Plain and Uvira cities of South-Kivu respectively to commemorate 17th December International Day to End violence against sex workers.


During the events, Weka Organisation held two press conferences aimed to call for a joint action toward the elimination of all forms of violations against Sex workers and lighted up candles to remember those lost to violence.


The day was celebrated under the theme “Your Protection Does Not Protect Me”. As stated in the Press Release , the laws and policies put in place by the government of Democratic Republic of Congo to protect and promote human rights for its citizens are actually the same laws and policies which lead to humiliation and violation of the rights of marginalized groups including sex workers and the people around them.

The criminalization of sex work in DRC’s criminal justice system as “prostitution” is the root cause to all forms of violence committed against sex workers by the various perpetrators who always hide under the ambit of enforcing the law. In most cases sex workers face challenges in accessing justice when their rights are violated because the laws and policies that are in place don’t protect sex workers. “Sex workers face challenges in accessing justice when their rights are abused because the laws and policies that are in place don’t protect sex workers”. Julienne Mushagalusa Program Director Weka Organisation ”When we try to seek for justice no one believes our stories just because we are sex workers” – Maria a sex worker from Sange.


During the event, Mr. David Executive Director gave a brief background of the day and shared as to why the day is important to the sex work movement.


In his words – “The day was created to call for attention to hate crimes committed against sex workers all over the world after Gary Ridgeway, aka the “Green River Killer,” confessed to murdering at least 49 women, most of them sex workers. He chose sex workers as his victims because they were easy to pick up without being noticed and no one reported them missing”.


During his speech, he argued sex workers to learn from the history of the day and to continue reporting and documenting violation incidents impacted on to them, and to always share their experience with others in order to learn from one an other.

He concluded by emphasized the point of building partnerships with other movements and human rights focused organizations for joint support in advocating for the realization of sex workers rights.

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