Centre for Human Rights Education, Advice and Assistance (Chreaa) on Thursday mobilised leaders in Nancholi and Manase townships in Blantyre for a sensitisation meeting meant to raise awareness on abuses against commercial sex workers.
In a presentation made during the focus group discussions held at Chifundo Orphan Care in Nancholi, Chreaa project coordinator Vanessa Manda said the project intends to empower sex workers in Blantyre to report abuse that they may suffer at the hands of the police, with the intention of eradicating sex workers abuse.
“The focus group discussions with communities in the targeted areas are being conducted to ensure the communities understand the need to protect sex workers from police abuse as well as consider the interrelated issues, which come as a result of the abuses,” she said.
Speaking after the meeting, Watson Shuzi, monitoring and evaluation officer of Nancholi Youth Organisation, noted that the workshop was a timely intervention “as it provided the community with options when such cases arise”.
Shuzi said abuses against sex workers by police are still human rights abuses.
“If sex workers are arrested, then the police should take them to court so that due justice is done instead of harassing them,” he said.
The project is funded by Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (Osisa).
Participants during the discussion included chiefs, community-based organisations (CBOs) members, businesspersons and members of area development committees as well as village development committees.