Sex Workers Offer Free Sex to Celebrate Outlawing Of Vagabond

January 18, 2017 by Staff Reporter

The Malawi Association of Sex Workers (MASW) has said that its members will offer themselves free of charge to its customers nationwide in celebration of the Outlawing of the Vagabond laws in the country.ssss

MASW Executive Committee Member Linda Mwale who trade her business at Kachere township in Blantyre disclosed this good  after High Court ruled that vagabond laws are unconstitutional.

” We will offer free sex  services to our clients  for three days. They will only pay for accommodation,” said Linda Mwale.

Meanwhile, National Coordinator for Malawi Sex Workers Alliance (MASWA), Zinenani Majawa, has said that the outlawing of the vagabond law is a milestone in the fight against human rights abuse by law enforcers.

She alleged that law enforcers used vagabond law as a tool to intimidate and abuse sex workers across the country.

She made the allegations in an interview with Malawi News Agency(MANA), on Monday in Salima, on sidelines of rights sensitization meeting which attracted representatives of sex workers from all the 28 districts.

“We are here to sensitize each other on our rights, but I can’t avoid saying how happy each and every member of our organization is upon hearing courts determination that the law of vagabond is unconstitutional.

“We as people face many human rights violations from different sections of our society and vagabond was a key instrument which was used to abuse and silence us,” Majawa said.

She said that the sensitization campaigns are part of the advocacy campaign which MASWA is undertaking to lobby various public service providers to stop discrimination and abuse of sex workers when they seek services.

“Apart from the Police our rights are constantly abused by health service providers who deny us treatment for failure to bring spouses when we seek treatment. Yet they know that as sex workers we do not have spouses,” Majawa expalined.

Majawa said that meeting seeks to empower the sex workers to demand for their rights with one voice and present their common issues to the concerned groups.

In reaction to the allegation Police Public relations Officer for Salima Gift Chitowe said that the Police have never received any formal complaint that officers abused sex workers when they arrest them for breaking the law.

“Allegations have been made for a long time but what I know is that none has come forward with a formal report to aid us to investigate such allegations,” he said.

Spokesperson for Salima District Hospital Angela Nyongani said that it was false that sex workers are denied treatment in government health facilities.

“The procedure is that everybody who comes for STI treatment is supposed to invite his/her partner for the same treatment as a way of stopping re-infection. So for sex workers they just need to identify themselves. In short, the treatment is given before one is asked to bring their partner so I do not see the logic in their allegations,” she said.

The High Court in Blantyre on Tuesday last week ruled that section 184 (1) (C) of the Penal Code that deals with offences of rogue and vagabond as unconstitutional and invalid.



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