Lady Mermaid Empowerment Centre (Lady Mermaid), formerly Lady Mermaid’s Bureau (LMB) is a feminist sex workers led civil society organizations founded in Uganda, in 2002. Registered as a company limited buy gurantee. Lady Mermaid envisions a Ugandan society where sex work is recognized and respected as a protected work. The organization’s mission is to create a strong voice for sex workers, to bring to light the harassment and abuse faced by sex workers, and to educate and empower sex workers through advocating for and promoting universal access to health services, speaks out about violence against sex workers, opposes human rights abuses, and challenges stigma and discrimination against sex workers.

Lady Mermaid works to improve the lives of sex workers in four areas:

  • Health and Policy Advocacy – Creating awareness about sex workers and their human rights – in order to create a more tolerant environment where sex workers kan access stigma-free health services and where service providers and the community at large appreciate and respect sex workers rights.
  • Institutional and community capacity building – Building the capacity of Lady Mermaid as an organisation to develop, implement, and sustain development programs that aim to reach the goal and mission of Lady Mermaid – giving sex workers a voice.
  • Research and Documentation – Collecting data to inform the work regarding sex workers rights and health issues and to ensure that advocacy work is rooted in evidence.
  • Partnership, mobilization and networking; Strengthening partnerships with government, collaborators and development partners to ensure support and alignment for advocacy efforts aimed at developing the sex worker community and uplifting sex workers.


A Ugandan society where sex work is recognized and respected as a protected work.

Our Mission

To amplify voice of sex worker as well as advocating for health and human right of adult sex workers in Uganda.

Our Core Values

  • Integrity
  • Confidentiality
  • Professionalism
  • Accountability
  • Equality and non-discrimination
  • Teamwork.

Innovative methods

Since 2015, Lady Mermaid has distributed more than 1,000 information-loaded SIM cards to their members with HIV safety information, text as well as audio, which the members can access on their own phones. Besides information on HIV/AIDS, the SIM cards also include information on what to say if the women are approached by police officers.

Support groups for sex workers have been initiated on Whatsapp to enable sex workers to get support even when they are not able to meet physically.

During lockdowns in Uganda Lady Mermaid introduced the ‘Ride top 95-95-95’ where sex workers, their clients, and their partners could order HIV prevention packs that were delivered to them on motorbikes.

In 2021 AIDS-Fondet and Lady Mermaid secured funding for the development of a platform for telling the stories of sex workers – intially as a digital platform dubbed Neeko’s Blog. This was a novel way of giving the sex workers a voice – and then amplifying it.

The idea proved so popular in the sex worker movement across Uganda that Lady Mermaid decided to turn it into the first magazine written for and by sex workers in Uganda


Funding came from a special funding modality called ‘Rebuilding Civic Space’ which was agreed to in the Danish parliament as a response to the shrinking civic space in the Global South under Corona lockdowns. The fund was administered by Civil Society in Development (CISU).