After forced HIV tests, sex workers in Malawi, where prostitution is legal, form alliance

Published: November 10, 2012

BLANTYRE – Malawi’s estimated 20,000 sex workers have formed an alliance to fight for their interests and social justice, a lawyer representing them has said, two years after 14 prostitues sued police and the government for forced HIV tests.

"Time has come for you to discuss your issues, how the police and courts treat you and how you can access sexual and reproductive health services without any hassles," noted human rights lawyer Chrispin Sibande told some 50 prostitutes in the administrative capital Lilongwe at the lanch of the alliance Friday.

The alliance, which is being backed by international organizations including UNFPA, is the first known grouping of sex workers in this poor southern African nation where prostitution isn’t oulawed.

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