Female Sex Workers Association (FSWA) has faulted government for imposing a 21 day lockdown, saying it has been made in a hurry without proper consultation with relevant stakeholders.
The complaint has been made through a media statement signed by FSWA Executive Director, Zinenani Lucy Majawa.
The statement said while FSWA commends government’s decision, however the association strongly believes that the lockdown has been imposed without considering the survival of the most vulnerable groups including female sex workers.
Reads part of the statement: “We would like to remind the government of Malawi that sex work is work and female sex workers as any human being have families and responsibilities that require their attention as a results imposing lockdown without considering our survival is a violation of human rights.”
The statement therefore asked government to act in accordance with human rights standards in its response to COVID-19 pandemic and uphold the principles of equality and non-discrimination of the most marginalized people such as women, children, the elderly, people with disability, LGBT, among others.
FSWA has further called on government to establish separate units within police departments and telephone hotlines for the vulnerable people to report acts of abuses since the mobility restrictions might fuel domestic violence.
The association also asked government to implement moratoriums on rental payments or negotiate with landlords to consider not collecting rentals from their tenants for the period of lockdown.
Government has also been asked to distribute packages with necessities including soap, disinfectants and hand sanitizers.
Meanwhile, a renowned social scientist, Dr. Henry Chingaipe, has predicted dire consequences that the country is likely to go through during the 21-day lockdown saying “it has been imposed without considering social protection measures for the majority of poor Malawians that live on hand to mouth.”