By Mike Gwadani
Female Sex Workers Association (FSWA) has accused government for the declaration of Lockdown without proper consultations with relevant stakeholders.
In a statement signed by FSWA Executive Director Zinenani Lucy Majawa says imposing lockdown without considering the survival of the most vulnerable groups including female sex workers, migrants, refugees, women and girls, LGBTQ persons, unemployed people is a violation of human rights.
” We would like to remind the government of Malawi that sex work is work and female sex workers as any human being have families and responsibilities that require their attention as such mandated to advocate for the respect, protection and promotion of the rights of female sex workers in Malawi,” reads the statement in part
The statement further say FSWA expect the government of Malawi to act in accordance with human rights standards in their response to COVID-19 and uphold the principles of equality and non-discrimination, centering the most marginalized people; women, children, the elderly, people with disabilities, people with compromised health, rural people, unhoused people, institutionalized people, LGBT+ people, refugees and migrants.
“At this very crucial time, it is critical that the government takes a human rights and intersectional based approach to ensure that everyone has access to necessary information, support systems and resources during the current crisis. As FSWA we have recognized some key areas of focus to be considered in the context of the COVID-19 crisis read the statement.
Demands and recommendations from FSWA to Government
They are listed below with brief descriptions of potential challenges and recommendations that address the practical experiences of people in vulnerable position especially women and girls that endure a disproportionate impact due to their sex, gender, and sexual orientation and steer policymakers toward solutions that do not exacerbate their vulnerabilities or magnify existing inequality and ensure their human rights.
FWSA has since asked the government to make sure that the response to COVID 19 must not ignore and undermine the already pre-existing health, economical and social issues
Meanwhile Action Hope Malawi in Zomba organized several interface interaction with sex workers to map up how best to support them during the lock down.
The meeting took place in Zomba, Liwonde and Machinga
Sammy Aaron the Executive Director of the Action hope Malawi said the COVID-19 lockdown has an impact on sex workers hence the meeting within them to ensure that they are not marginalised and excluded in their possible interventions.