Global Effects of COVID-19, government restrictions and implications for sex workers: A focus on Africa

Rosie Campbell, Teela Sanders, Rahma Hassan, Susan Gichuna, Mercy Mutonyi, Peninah Mwangi

Abstract


There has been an unusually high media reporting of the impact on sex workers across the globe in relation to Covid -19 and related government lockdown, movement restrictions and reduced employment. This paper utilises a media analysis which examined N=541 media articles identified for the period 1st March to 31st May. N=103 of these focused on different countries in Africa and n=43 articles had a Kenyan focus. The media analysis is important as it is a lens through which sex workers are constructed, discourses are reinforced and knowledge is transferred throughout the globe.  In this paper we reflect on: 1) The global effects on sex workers to show generic trends around economic impacts and health care across the global north and south; 2) core themes which affected sex workers daily lives across the African continent such as changes in mobility in cities and across borders, reduced movements, police interactions and violence, homelessness; 3) outline some of the global and localised responses from sex worker rights organisation, support projects and NGO's, in the absence of government safety nets. These media reports have illuminated the crisis experienced by sex workers during the period of initial first wave occurrences of Covid in countries globally and governmental measures to suppress the virus. These reductions in income, access to health care and medicines and challenges for housing will persist for some time with devastating effects on an already vulnerable and marginalised community.  


Full Text:

PDF

References


Birdthistle, I., Tanton, C., Tomita, A., de Graaf, K., Schaffnit, S. B., Tanser, F., & Slaymaker, E. (2019). Recent levels and trends in HIV incidence rates among adolescent girls and young women in ten high-prevalence African countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet Global Health, 7(11), e1521-e1540.

Care International (2020) Covid 19 could condemn women into decades of poverty. https://insights.careinternational.org.uk/publications/covid-19-could-condemn-women-to-decades-of-poverty-implications-of-the-covid-19-pandemic-on-women-s-and-girls-economic-justice-and-rights

Danish Refuge Council (2020) The Ripple Effect of Covid 19 on economic activities, livelihoods and food security in East Africa and the Great Lakes https://reliefweb.int/report/somalia/ripple-effect-covid-19-economic-activities-livelihoods-and-food-security-east-africa

Deering, K. N., Amin, A., Shoveller, J., Nesbitt, A., Garcia-Moreno, C., Duff, P., ... & Shannon, K. (2014). A systematic review of the correlates of violence against sex workers. American journal of public health, 104(5), e42-e54.

Howard S (2020) Covid-19: Health needs of sex workers are being sidelined, warn agencies, British Medical Journal, 369:m1867 doi: 10.1136/bmj.m1867 (Published 7 May 2020)

ICRSE and SWAN (2020) Covid 19 impact on sex worker access to health services for sex workers in Europe and Central Asia, ICRSE. http://www.sexworkeurope.org/sites/default/files/userfiles/files/Covid19_SWAN%26ICRSE_Final_Interactive%20%281%29.pdf

Kimani J, Adhiambo J, Kasiba R, Mwangi P, Were V, Mathenge J, Macharia P, Cholette F, Moore S, Shaw S, Becker M, Musyoki H, Parinita B, Moses S, Fowke KR, McKinnon L R and Lorway, R (2020) The effects of COVID-19 on the health and socioeconomic security of sex workers in Nairobi, Kenya: Emerging intersections with HIV, Global Public Health, 1744-1706, DOI:10.1080/17441692.2020.1770831.

Lancet HIV (2020) ‘Lockdown fears for key populations’ https://doi.org/10.1016/ S2352-3018(20)30143-0 https://www.thelancet.com/action/showPdf?pii=S2352-3018%2820%2930143-0

PIC and Sexwerkexpertise (2020) Survey on sex workers’ access to corona support in the Netherlands: paying taxes, PIC and Sexwerkexpertise.

Platt L, Elmes J, Stevenson L, Holt V, Rolles S, Stuart R (2020) Sex workers must not be forgotten in the COVID-19 response, The Lancet, https://doi.org/10.1016/ S0140-6736(20)31033-3.

Wenham C, Smith J, Morgan R (2020) COVID-19: the gendered impacts of the outbreak, The Lancet, https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30526-2.

UNAIDS, USAIDS, PEPFAR and GPC (2020) ‘ Strategic Considerations for Mitigating the Impact of COVID-19 on Key- Population-Focused HIV Programs’, UNAIDS.

UNAIDS (2020) COVID-19 responses must uphold and protect the human rights of sex workers, UNAIDS, Geneva, Switzerland.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.29311/lwps.202033600

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2020 Rosie Campbell, Teela Sanders, Rahma Hassan, Susan Gichuna, Mercy Mutonyi, Peninah Mwangi

We use both functional and performance cookies to improve visitor experience. Continue browsing if you are happy to accept cookies. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information.
OK