At least 13 killings, mainly targeting women, have been registered in the last four weeks in Sofala, nine of them in Beira, the provincial capital, according to Mozambique authorities.
The international humanitarian organisation is calling for increased safeguarding of people engaged in sex work in Beira and elsewhere in Southern Africa, as well as the mobilisation of authorities, civil society and non-governmental organisations in the region to advocate for the health and well-being of sex workers.
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) says its community programme includes key population such as s.e.x workers, men-who-have-s.e.x-with-men and at-risk youth who are often isolated, criminalised or subjected to stigma, discrimination and violence
Recently, Dércio Chacate, spokesperson for the Police of the Republic of Mozambique announced the arrest of several suspects in connection with the killings.
Cheila Davide, a social activist, called the murders of women an attack on the human rights of s.e.x workers.
“We are outraged at the killings seemingly targeted at highly vulnerable women in Beira. Two s.e.x workers served by our work have been murdered in a matter of weeks. Their peers have identified them as a 32-year-old migrant s.e.x worker from Zimbabwe who leaves behind a 4-year-old daughter and a local 22-year-old Mozambican s.ex. worker who leaves behind three daughters and a son.
“Ahead of the 16 Days of Activism Against S.e.xual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) initiative and the International Day to End Violence Against S.e.x Workers, we call for an end to violence and greater safeguarding for sex workers,” says Jessie Ashay Kurnurkar, MSF project co-ordinator in Beira.