Rumphi commercial sex workers have called on authorities to intervene in increased cases of violence from clients before the situation goes out of hand.

Rumphi Commercial Sex Workers Alliance secretary, Penelope Dapalapa made the observation Wednesday during a three day human rights training workshop the alliance organized for its executive members.

She said commercial sex workers face physical and physiological harm which affect their business and wellbeing.

“Most of us [sex workers] face a lot of violence in our daily business. For example we handle cases of sex workers to have been beaten by a client almost on a daily basis.

“As I am speaking one of our colleagues is admitted to Rumphi District Hospital after a potential client beat her up because she refused to sleep with him.

“Fortunate enough the suspect has been arrested by police,” Dapalapa said.

She said clients take advantage because sex workers lack knowledge about their rights and where to report abuses.

“I should acknowledge that most of the sex workers do not know their rights. Some clients do not pay after sleeping with us and we do not know where to go with such issues,” she added.

During the training, Bolero Magistrate, Chikumbutso Kachipande urged the sex workers to report any form of violence to police or courts.

“I understand that sex workers are among vulnerable groups that risk facing violence due to the nature of their work.

“However, the judiciary is ready to provide justice on such matters when reported because it is its duty to protect and uphold the rights of the citizenry regardless of who they are,” he said.

He cautioned the sex workers to be eager to learn more about their rights for them to defend themselves in times of risk.

“You can only defend your rights if you have the full knowledge of those particular rights therefore you have the duty to know your rights so that anyone should not robe you of those rights,” Kachipande added.

One of the commercial sex workers, Chrissy Moyo described the training as an eye opener as she learnt about legislation that protects rights of vulnerable groups such as sex workers.

Rumphi Commercial Sex Workers Alliance organized the training with financial assistance from Urgent Action Fund through Just Associates (JASS).

-manna-

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