Sex work refers to the consensual exchange of sexual services between adults for money or goods. The trade involves female, male, or transgender individuals, and can be undertaken in a variety of venues, such as working as escorts, from private homes, in strip clubs, in brothels, and seeking clients in public locations. Prostitution is the term used by Kenyan law to describe the exchange of sexual activity for monetary payment.
The Kenya Most At Risk Population National estimation consensus report 2013 conducted by NASCOP estimates the size female sex workers in Kenya to be around 133,675.
Sex workers are identi ed Key Populations, along with men who have sex with men and people who inject drugs are identi ed as Key Populations within the HIV response.They are socially marginalized, often criminalized and face a range of human rights abuses that increase their vulnerability to HIV infection. Sex workers in Kenya face violence and human rights violations from clients, law enforcement of cials, health care service providers and the larger part of the society as a result of stigma, discrimination and negative perceptions associated with sex work. Criminalization of sex work restricts the rights of a sex worker to access the formal justice system and limits their access to quality affordable legal services. Sex workers also experience numerous challenges in their access to health care services. The National HIV and AIDS Stigma and Discrimination Index Report recommends creating awareness of existence of legal frameworks and institutions, that promote access to social justice and strengthening mechanisms of legal redress and speedy justice. Legal empowerment of sex workers will enable them address human rights violations; ultimately ensuring they are able to access both the legal and health services that they require.
Community paralegals play an essential role in assisting communities in accessing justice. Their role is to inform people of their rights under the law; to help them to assert and obtain those rights; to negotiate on their behalf; and where necessary, to contact a lawyer if they face dif culties or challenges.Accessing justice for sex workers goes beyond access to the courts and law enforcement; community paralegals would be particularly bene cial to individuals seeking guidance on legal issues that need not escalate to the police or courts. Alternatives for dispute settlement should be considered before litigation.
Adequate training is essential for paralegals to keep them updated with relevant laws and changes in legal provisions and procedures. KESWA has developed this training manual as a tool to scale up quality, affordable and timely legal services to the community if sex workers in Kenya.