Sex workers

Photograph by Adriaan Backer

Together with sex workers Bridging the Gaps works to end stigma and discrimination surrounding sex work and to improve their access to sex worker-friendly health care services.

Almost everywhere in the world sex work is criminalized and surrounded by stigma and discrimination. This places sex workers in a marginalized position and makes them more vulnerable to STIs and HIV and different forms of exploitation. We consider empowerment of sex workers and sex worker-friendly services essential in order to improve their lives and health.

5 things you should know about sex work

  •  Sex worker rights are human rights;
  •  Only 22.5% of female sex workers in Africa have access to HIV prevention programmes;
  •  Sex work is criminalized in more than 110 countries;
  •  Where sex workers are able to assert control over their working environments and insist on safer sex, evidence indicates that HIV risk and vulnerability can be sharply reduced;
  •  Sex work must be decriminalized to afford sex workers’ sustainable access to services, condoms, and safe workplaces.

This is what Bridging the Gaps does with and for sex workers

  • We base all our work on the needs expressed by sex workers themselves and incorporate sex workers in all stages of the programme;
  • We provide services that meet the specific needs of sex workers;
  • We lobby and advocate for the protection of sex workers’ rights to ensure full access to public health care.

We work through projects in Vietnam, Uganda and along the trucker corridor in South and East Africa. Our projects at country-level are strengthened by a global advocacy project for the health and rights of sex workers.