‘No More on Our Streets and Not in Our Neighbourhoods’: Exploring Community Activism Against Sex Work
Sex work within the Nigerian context is generally regarded as a crime and shameful behaviour commonly perpetrated by women and/or girls who exchange sexual services with different people usually men for monetary or other benefits. This present study investigates an approach initiated by some communities in Ilorin metropolis of Kwara, Nigeria to eradicate sex work activities. The study adopted a qualitative research method. Three hundred and seven residents from 5 communities where brothel-based and street-based sex workers are predominant participated in the study. A range of sampling methods including criterion, convenience and venue-based sampling methods were used; in-depth interview was the instrument employed in data collection, and data analysis was done using thematic analysis. Results indicate that while the approach is effective in controlling sex workers’ activities, it inspires violence and normalises human rights abuses of sex workers in Ilorin metropolis. The paper suggests a need for a public campaign aimed at sensitising members of the communities about the fundamental rights of their fellow citizens which they are obliged to venerate as Nigerians.
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