PRESS RELEASE: #SayHerName report launch on ‘Female and Transwomxn Sex Worker Deaths in South Africa: 2018-2019’

The Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) #SayHerName campaign will be launching a report detailing the deaths of sex workers in South Africa. The report titled ‘Female and Transwomxn Sex Workers Deaths in South Africa – 2018/2019’ is the second report to be published by the campaign since its launch in 2016 to commemorate and honour female and transwomxn sex workers whose lives had been lost as a result of violence.    

“The Campaign exists to commemorate and honour women affected by violence. It further aims to protect and uphold sex workers’ human rights including the constitutional rights to access healthcare, freedom from violence, access to justice and labour law protection. In the first report of the campaign – for the period 2014 to 2017, SWEAT received reports of 118 female sex workers who had died. More than half of these deaths (55%) were as a result of murder.”

“This report continues the important work of the campaign, gathering information about sex worker deaths during 2018 and 2019. It analyses the reports of 101 deaths of female and transwomxn sex workers during this time and again found that nearly half (45%) were probably attributable to murder. These findings point to the high levels and particularly brutal forms of violence levelled against female and transwomxn sex workers in South Africa.”

The launch of the report will take place in in 6 provinces on 3rd March 2020 – International Sex Workers Rights Day, which is a day that is globally commemorated by sex work activists. The national launch will be followed by a stakeholder discussion on ‘Overcoming Violence Directed at Sex Workers’. This will provide an opportunity for SWEAT & Sisonke to raise awareness on the scourge of Gender-Based Violence and Femicide directed at sex workers and deliberate on strategies to reduce the violence. 

The dialogue will take place on Thursday, 5 March 2020 at 6 Spin Street, 10am – 3pm.

For comments, please contact SWEAT’s Media Officer, Megan Lessing at 0214487875 or

For comments on the provincial launches please contact Sisonke’s Communications Officer, Lunga Luthuli at 0214487875 or  

Download report here