“Very Organized and Hard for Us to Detect”: Challenges of Policing Male Sex Work in Botswana

Lesedi Mashumba, Moses Agaawena Amagnya, Oluwagbenga Michael Akinlabi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Sex work and the sex tourism industry are two growing phenomena in Botswana. This includes a growing of male sex work (MSW) that is characterised by secrecy and threat of violence. Indeed, MSW is often misconstrued as same-sex relationships that involve men with other men. Religious doctrines and government policies often fuel this misconception. However, there is a lack of research on how MSW is regulated legally and policed. This chapter addresses this gap by exploring 30 male sex workers, three non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working with male sex workers, and two police officers’ views of legislation and the policing of MSW through interviews. The results show that policing MSW in Botswana is characterised by three major challenges: an unclear fuzzy legal system, challenges with detecting MSW, and an absence of legal reforms to regulate and make sex work safe. This study concludes that authorities in Botswana need to amend existing legislation to cater to the growing sex industry so that sex workers, especially males, can be protected and safeguarded.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolicing and the Rule of Law in Sub-Saharan Africa
EditorsOluwagbenga Michael Akinlabi
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781003148395
ISBN (Print)9780367693855, 9780367708917
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2022

Publication series

NameRoutledge Contemporary Africa


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