Back to Index
Monitor Issue 105
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
August 11, 2011
PDF version (2.44MB)
If you do not have the free Acrobat reader
on your computer, download it from the Adobe website by clicking
workers on spotlight
Theirs is a
bumpy world. From dealing with violent clients to braving abuse
by police, Zimbabwe's sex workers are having it rough as they
hustle on street corners and red light districts.
The gross human
rights violations suffered by commercial sex workers came to life
in Johannesburg last week.
by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) detailing the tribulations
and violations faced by Zimbabwean commercial sex workers featured
prominently at a regional dialogue organised by the Global Commission
on HIV and the Law.
documentary headlined the start of a session on sex work at the
Africa Regional Dialogue organised by the Global Commission on HIV
and the Law that took place from 3-4 August in Johannesburg.
Behind the shadows-The effects of criminalisation of sex work in
Zimbabwe", the ZLHR documentary showcased the trials and tribulations
faced by sex workers in Zimbabwe.
highlights the cruelty sex workers face at the hands of law enforcement
agents and their struggle in accessing medical services and drugs.
allege abuse at the hands of the police and discrimination at health
DVD was high quality and quite informative. As a secretariat we
decided to have it set the agenda for the session on sex work on
4 August at the Africa Dialogue. The documentary was indeed well
received," said Emilie Pradichit, of the Global Commission
on HIV and the Law secretariat.
regional dialogue gave voice to regional and country perspectives
on issues related to HIV and the law. It contributed to regional
efforts to create enabling legal environments that support effective
The forum provided
a unique opportunity for regional civil society groups to engage
directly with government officials, law experts, United Nations
representatives and members of the Global Commission to discuss
gaps and opportunities for changes in the law, practices of law
enforcement, issues with legal aid and access to redress.
shared experiences and perspectives of individuals, communities,
policy and law makers and law enforcement actors in the region.
dialogues are aimed at generating policy dialogue, with a view to
giving voice to the critical HIV-related human rights and legal
issues within the region.
The Global Commission
on HIV and the Law was launched in June 2010 to develop actionable,
evidence-informed and human rightsbased recommendations for effective
HIV responses that protect and promote the rights of people living
with and most vulnerable to HIV.
on some of the most challenging legal and human rights issues in
the context of HIV, including criminalisation of HIV transmission,
behaviours and practices such as drug use, sex work and homosexuality.
The commission also deals with issues of prisoners, migrants, children's
rights, violence against women, and access to treatment.
ZLHR said it
had noted escalating reports of police who abused their positions
of authority to allegedly rape women that they would have arrested
The human rights
organisation said a number of cases of alleged sexual abuse of people
suspected of loitering by the police went unreported and every effort
to report such cases by victims had been thwarted by police.
violation of women and sexual assaults perpetrated by members of
the Zimbabwe Republic Police is barbaric, brutal and at cross purposes
with the Service Charter of the Zimbabwe Republic Police,"
said Tinashe Mundawarara, the programme manager for ZLHR's
HIV, AIDS, Human Rights and Law project.
wrong for male police officers to detain women arrested for alleged
loitering in their cars and drive with them around the city for
purposes of psychological torture before soliciting for sex as a
precondition for their release. It is wrong for our police force
to be the drivers of decay of our social and moral fabric. It is
unfortunate to note that many women who have been raped and abused
have not been able to access justice owing to an uncooperative police
force that seek to protect each other.
long arm of the law in this instance has failed to reach the criminals
within its reach. ZLHR salutes the few women who have weathered
harassment and threats to seek justice under very difficult and
trying circumstances without help from those who are supposed to
speak for their rights," said Mundawarara.
Visit the ZLHR
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.