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Global Effects of COVID-19, government restrictions and implications for sex workers: A focus on Africa

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posted on 03.09.2020, 09:43 by Teela Sanders, Rosie Campbell, Peninah Mwangi, Rahma Hassan, Susan Gichuna, Mercy Mutonyi
There has been an unusually high media reporting of the impact on sex workers across the globe in relation to Covid -19 and related government lockdown, movement restrictions and reduced employment. This paper utilises a media analysis which examined N=541 media articles identified for the period 1st March to 31st May. N=103 of these focused on different countries in Africa and n=43 articles had a Kenyan focus. The media analysis is important as it is a lens through which sex workers are constructed, discourses are reinforced and knowledge is transferred throughout the globe. In this paper we reflect on: 1) The global effects on sex workers to show generic trends around economic impacts and health care across the global north and south; 2) core themes which affected sex workers daily lives across the African continent such as changes in mobility in cities and across borders, reduced movements, police interactions and violence, homelessness; 3) outline some of the global and localised responses from sex worker rights organisation, support projects and NGO's, in the absence of government safety nets. These media reports have illuminated the crisis experienced by sex workers during the period of initial first wave occurrences of Covid in countries globally and governmental measures to suppress the virus. These reductions in income, access to health care and medicines and challenges for housing will persist for some time with devastating effects on an already vulnerable and marginalised community.

History

Citation

LIAS Working Paper Series, 3, 2020

Author affiliation

School of Criminology

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

LIAS Working Paper Series

Volume

3

Publisher

University of Leicester Open Journals

issn

2516-4783

Acceptance date

29/07/2020

Copyright date

2020

Available date

03/08/2020

Language

en

Publisher version

https://journals.le.ac.uk/ojs1/index.php/lias/article/view/3600

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