The Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) response to COVID-19
SWEAT and Sisonke the National Movement of Sex Workers in South Africa has been following the progression of COVID-19 locally and abroad and want to stress that the well-being of our staff and of service users is our paramount concern. As per the President’s address on Sunday, 15 March 2020 – we have taken the decision to suspended all meetings, workshops and travelling locally and internationally for all staff.
SWEAT and Sisonke is currently operating with a skeleton staff both to minimise social interaction, but also to reduce the risks of long commutes on public transport by staff members. Furthermore, this week we will be having our last creative space/ workshop at our offices to inform sex workers of the severity of covid-19 and provide them with the minimal assistance we can offer to ease the impact the epidemic might have on their work. After the planned creative space, we will be pausing all creative spaces till further notice.
We are aware that that the impact of this virus is likely to have a devastating impact on sex workers – not only because of the vulnerability sex workers to illness but that the impact on their livelihoods and general welfare is likely to be enormous.
We are planning for an anticipated influx of requests for help over the next few weeks and are asking partners and the public to support these efforts. If you can, please donate here: http://www.sweat.org.za/donate/
During this time, sex workers requiring assistance can call the 24-hour SWEAT Helpline: 0800 60 60 60 or send a ‘Please Call Me’ to 071 357 7632.
The public and partners can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or questions on how to assist.
We are asking everyone to follow the advice that is available online and on posters at public sites – to hold on to our humanity and to stand in solidarity with sex workers through this pandemic. #SexWorkersLivesMatter #SexWorkIsWork #DecriminaliseSexwWrkNow