IDS interview: The impact of the law on sex workers in Ethiopia

26 August 2011

Cheryl Overs is from the Paulo Longo Research Initiative (PLRI) and is a visiting research fellow at IDS. She is currently involved in a prorgramme that is examining the impact that laws on sex work have on sex workers in 20 countries worldwide.

The project has initially been piloted in Fiji, Malaysia and Ethiopia, from where Cheryl has recently returned.

In this interview Cheryl talks more about her time in Ethiopia and examines some of the initial findings emerging from her research. She looks at the discrepancies between the official legal picture and the reality on the streets, which she explored in more detail in focus groups conducted with local officials, police officers and sex workers.

She also examines some of the challenges that sex workers in Ethiopia currently face around issues of citizenship and access to services, and the effectiveness of existing intervention programmes.