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On 2nd June 2017 Bar Hostess Empowerment and Support Programme {BHESP} held an event to celebrate International Sex Workers Day at BHESP Kasarani offices.

More than 100 sex workers attended the event to honor sex workers and recognize their often exploited working conditions.

“As we celebrate International Sex Workers Day lets channel our energies towards ending stigma and discrimination surrounding sex work,” said BHESP Executive Director Peninah Mwangi.

Mwangi added that if sex workers are to enjoy fair and just working conditions, sex work needs to be fully decriminalized.

“We want laws in Kenya to be refocused on making sex workers lives safer and improving the relationship they have with the law enforcers,” she held.

Echoing Mwangi’s sentiments, Kenya Sex Workers Alliance national coordinator Phelister Abdalla said the event is very important as it’s celebrated globally and appreciated sex workers for coming out openly calling for the decriminalization of sex work.

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I randomly engaged 25 Female Sex Workers {FSW} in a conversation so as to answer this disturbing question, which is coherent in all the discussion that touches the vulnerability of their kids.  

“How can I let my son know that I pay his fees through flesh trade? I and my son have an exquisite relationship in fact he holds me with respect because he knows I work as a sales person. Of course am a sales person, I did not lie to my son, what I did not disclose was what I was selling,” explained 32 year old Esther*.

On her part Jeri*, a mother of four, says she cannot reveal the nature of her work to her children due to the high levels of stigma associated with sex work in Kenya.

“I conduct my work in a secret manner. My children attend to a relatively good school. They know their mum is an accountant or a teacher perhaps,” reveals Njeri who has been in the sex work trade for the last seven years.

Majority of female sex workers have managed to hide the identity of their work as they ply their trade far away from their homes. However for Akothe*, the converse is true, as its impossible for her to cover-up what she does from her children in a slum set up.

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