Protecting Uganda’s Sex Workers

A few months ago, we announced a small grant to Lady Mermaid’s Bureau, a Ugandan organisation aiming to address the issues and challenges faced by sex workers in the country. microSD cards were to be supplied – preloaded with content – to sex workers. The cards would contain advice and information that sex workers could use to stay safe and protect their rights. A few months in and we have a quick update from the LMB team: 

  • In one community, a group of sex workers has been formed to tackle frequent detention by police and is being supported by LMB and have been supplied with the microSD cards.
  • In a second community, another group of sex workers has demanded more training and information about human rights. The LMB team believe that the memory cards played an important role in prompting this group to want to learn more. Already, their newfound knowledge of their rights is helping them to stay safe. Some are even now pushing to form their own human rights association.
  • Police are showing interest in the work of LMB too, with one policeman reported to have requested a microSD card to learn more about the situation of sex workers in the community.

So far, 743 cards have been distributed with another 257 cards ready to be given out when needed. Clearly, the situation of sex workers in Uganda is not going to change over night, but this project is a demonstration of what can be achieved through informing people of their rights and helping them to pursue them.