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Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT)

We are joined by Nosipho Vidima, who is the Human Rights and Lobbying Officer for the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT).

SWEAT was founded in the early 90’s by male sex worker, Shane Petzer, and Ilse Pauw, who was a Clinical Psychologist, to help establish safe sex education projects for adult sex workers, during the time when the country was changing into a democracy and human rights for all, after the apartheid. It was originally apart of AIDS Support, Education and Training (ASET), a non-governmental service organisation that focus’ on safer sex educational work with adult sex workers, however in 1996 SWEAT broke away and became a registered NGO.

SWEAT campaigns on the inclusion of sex workers as respected and valued community members. They aims on having a legal adult sex workers industry so that sex work may be acknowledged as work, so that sex workers may have a stronger and influential voice in larger social debates. During its time, SWEAT has established two movements, African Sex Worker Alliance (ASWA), which a Pan African Alliance that is now based in Kenya. They also started a national movement of sex workers called Sisonke, which is now moving towards its own independence within the country.

Website: sweat.org.za

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