What you need to know:
- Three sex worker’s organisations and a women’s lobby group — Women Against Rape — held demonstrations outside the Ministry of Defence headquarters in London on December 17.
- Donned in red scarves and masks and carrying banners, they asked for the arraignment of the military officer, who has since confessed to the murder.
Sex workers in the United Kingdom (UK) are pushing for the extradition of a British soldier who killed Agnes Wanjiru nine years ago, even as they call for decriminalisation of commercial sex work in Kenya.
On December 17, three sex worker’s organisations and a women’s lobby group — Women Against Rape — held demonstrations outside the Ministry of Defence headquarters in London, mounting pressure on Kenyan and UK governments to arrest of the suspect.
Donned in red scarves and masks and carrying banners, members of the English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP), Sex Workers Advocacy and Resistance Movement (Swarm) and the African Women’s Group (AAWG) asked for the arraignment of the military officer, who has since confessed to the murder.
From the videos posted on ECP’s website, the commercial sex workers demanded justice for one of their own, blaming the two governments for delaying the matter.
They said criminalisation of the group in Kenya put its members at risk. Wanjiru a mother of one, was a member of the Laikipia Peer Educators, which is a sex workers’ organisation in Nanyuki.
The women camped outside the offices chanting slogans like; “no bad woman, just bad laws” and “outlaw poverty not prostitution.”
“Justice for Wanjiru’s murder means ending the criminalization that puts more of us at risk who have been pushed into the business because of poverty,” said one of the speakers.
The world marked the International Day to end Violence for Sex Workers on December 17.
The groups called for decriminalisation of their members across the globe and an opportunity to be allowed to work in peace as they fend for their families. They accused the police and the British Army of sexism and racism for violating commercial sex workers’ rights.
“This is not the first time that we are experiencing this under the hands of these institutions because they are stuck in colonial times,” said another member during the protests.