Sierra Leone’s Sex Workers Fight for Justice in Bold New Thought-Provoking Documentary

by Yah Yah
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Sex workers around the world are still marginalized by society, making them easy targets for the more intolerant, sadistic members of the community.

In an eye-opening new documentary, Africa Eye investigates an unsolved murder of a sex worker in Sierra Leone. As their investigation unfolds, the film crew uncovers a world where women who sell sex are often abused, attacked, trafficked, and even killed.

The documentary takes place in the city of Makeni, and centers on a group of sex workers, led by a woman called Lady P. Despite every day being a fight for survival, Lady P and her brave crew continue their battle for justice and to improve their rights.

Watch the documentary below:

“Although sex work is not illegal in the country, these women are seen as immoral outcasts and receive little support from the government or society. And as Tyson Conteh reports, their survival has been made even more precarious since the coronavirus pandemic.”

A 2019 report by the British charity Street Child estimated that the Ebola epidemic left 12,000 children orphaned in Sierra Leone alone. With an average age of 9, the report stated that Ebola orphans face stigma, hunger, marginalization and sexual exploitation, the report said. The reports also estimated that many would end up being forced into commercial sex.

Many of Sierra Leone’s estimated 26,000 sex workers come from extreme poverty and entered the trade as minors. Instead of being given help, the local police often arrest them and slap them with hefty fines or jail time.

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