Sisonke Durban


South Africa
Contact email:
Who do you work with?: 
As Sisonke our main mandate says that we work with all sex workers regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation - we work with sex workers in general. When we define sex work we say it is two consenting adults who agree to having sex. As Sisonke we are against child prostitution and human trafficking.
How are sex workers involved in your organisation?: 
Sex workers are involved by making decisions within the movement. They also come to our monthly creative spaces where as sex workers we come together and talk about issues that we face in our working spaces or at a personal level at home with our families.
Which of NSWP priority areas does your organisation work on?: 
Oppose the criminalisation and other legal oppression of sex work and support its recognition as work
Critique the trafficking paradigm that conflates representations of sex work, migration, and mobility
Speak out about violence against sex workers, including violence from police, institutions, clients, and intimate partners, while challenging the myth that sex work is inherently gender-based violence
Oppose human rights abuses, including coercive programming, mandatory testing, raids and forced rehabilitation
Challenge stigma and discrimination against sex workers, their families and partners, and others involved in sex work
Advocate for the economic empowerment and social inclusion of sex workers as sex workers
What are the two main challenges that the sex workers you work with face: 
Sex workers face a lot of abuse from the society we live in due to the current legal aspect of sex work being criminalised. This current law makes sex workers feel vulnerable because of the stigma and discrimination they face. Police abuse them and because they are abused by the people who are supposed to be protecting them, it is easy for the community at large to do the same and talk as they please to sex workers taking an advantage of the situation.
Describe other areas of your work: 
Sisonke is also dealing with other human rights issues, therefore we have partner organisations that we work with on health issues. They are not sex worker led but do have peer educators recruited from Sisonke who are sex workers. These partner organisations are: TB/HIV Care Association, WRHI and FHI360.