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Upcoming events and current media coverage relating to sex work and sex workers.

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A Botswana lobby group has thrown its weight behind sex workers, saying police should protect them as they have rights.

The Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and Aids has been calling on the government to legalise prostitution, a plea that was also supported by former president Festus Mogae recently.
The organisation’s executive director, Uyapo Ndadi, said in the meantime, prostitutes should be able to report abusive clients to the police.

Ndadi said some men rape sex workers but the victims cannot report the abuse to the police because prostitution is illegal in the country.

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Sex workers urged to report abuse

The Director of the Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA), Uyapo Ndadi has advised sex workers to report abusive clients to the police.

"If a client engages you and refuses to pay, go to a nearby police station and report them for obtaining by false pretences. It is a criminal offence punishable by law. In fact the perpetrator can get up to seven years imprisonment (Section 308 of the Penal Code)," he said at the commemoration of the international sex workers day over the weekend in Gaborone.

He castigated society for abusing sex workers while turning a blind eye to their clients. "We do not abuse buyers," charged Ndadi. He said some people who pretend to be champions of morality in the streets, parliament and even churches, are the same abusive buyers that sex workers complain about. He said some individuals even threaten to arrest sex workers if they do not offer them free service. "Some are forced into unsafe sex, beaten up, dumped in isolated and dangerous areas at night. Others are not paid for services that their clients well received and well enjoyed," he said. He argued that sex work is work too, adding that sex workers are also humans who have rights as well.

"Perhaps we are just used to getting sex for free. To those who think sex workers are immoral, I dare say it's their choice, respect it," Ndadi said.

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