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I have been made aware of the following letter that was sent informing all friends of sex workers and of human rights about the disgraceful pressure put upon the management of the Serena Hotel in Uganda. The Serena hotel was due to hold a seminar of African sex workers where issues relating to sex work could be discussed by those who suffer the consequences of anti sex laws the most, sex workers.
The hotel received a letter from the Minister of Ethics and Integrity Hon Buturo on behalf of the Ugandan government warning of consequences if the conference was permitted to proceed. A less fitting title for this minister perhaps could not be invented. Sadly this action illustrates the type of prejudiced persecution that happens everywhere that sex workers come together to demand freedoms that others take for granted. In the UK sex workers voices are ignored by ministers in favour of wealthy anti sex work pressure groups who are often funded by the government. No bias then.
I have written to Akina Mama wa Afrika asking how sex workers and our allies and friends can help. I will keep you informed.
From: Kasha.N. Jacqueline
Sent: 11/18/10 06:37 PM
To: ucscohrcl, lgbti-info-uganda, queerafrica, ILGA-Africa
Subject: Sex worker conference under attack by Government in Uganda-thrown out of Hotel
Its with sadness that I inform you of the cancellation Akina Mama wa Afrika conference for the Commercial Sex Workers Leaderhip institute that was to start on the 18 to 20th November at the Serena Hotel,Ranch on the lake.This is because the Minister of Ethics and Integrity Hon Buturo directed the hotel to cancel their booking as they were hosting a conference for a certain group that is illegal.In his letter to the hotel the Minister states that prostitution is illgeal and so should the hotel go ahead and host this conference on their premises they woudl be complying with illegalities.
Background.In 2008 again the same Minister stopped a sex workers confence which was scheduled to take place in Entebbe and the conference had to relocate and have the confence in Mombasa,this time around the conference unlike in 2008 had started.It is a violation of human rights of the highest order and we need all the support available to condemn this abuse.Everybody has a right to work and this means that the Minister is undermining the work the Sex workers are involved in.Its their bodies and they have the right to choice and bodily integrity.So for the Minister to dictate what they should or shouldnt do with their bodies is a violation of the CSW rights.
Akina Mama wa Afrika has been very involved in fighting for sexual minorities rights in Uganda and needs all your support at this tying time.
We need ally our support to condemn this action and call for the decriminalization of CSW in Uganda.
You are not free until everyone is free.
Inset picture is of letter from minister sent to hotel.