Exploitation should not be legalized

     In the following article, you will find Nicholas Kristof’s comment, a statement from Sex Trafficking Survivors United (STSU) against Amnesty International’s proposal on legalizing commercial sex, Amnesty International’s Overview of this Policy, and a link a pdf explanation of  the Nordic Model.   April is Child Abuse Prevention Month-Wear Blue to show your support.   JDP

RePosting:  Comment by “I have huge admiration for Amnesty International, but it is considering a lame proposal to legalize commercial sex.  This has been tried in various places, from Amsterdam to Sydney, Germany to parts of Nevada, and in practice it ends up a gift to pimps and increases exploitation.  No approach works all that well, frankly, but the Nordic model seems most effective: Arrest those buying sex (i.e. the johns) and offer social services to those selling sex (usually but not always women). That reduces demand and trafficking and has worked particularly well in Sweden. Here’s a statement by survivors of sex trafficking on the issue.”

Source:  https://www.facebook.com/kristof

Nicholas Kristof is a journalist-New York Times columnist, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner. Sheryl WuDunn, is the first Asian-American reporter to win a Pulitzer Prize, a business executive, and lecturer.  Kristoff and WuDunn are co-authors of Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide and co-founders of The Half the Sky Movement.   

Source: http://www.halftheskymovement.org/

Statement Against Amnesty International’s Suggestion that Buying Sex is a Human Right

(Addressing  the document at  http://www.scribd.com/mobile/doc/202126121.)

Sex Trafficking Survivors United (STSU) is a survivor-led and survivor-founded international organization.  Our 177 members include sex trafficked women and men who have escaped their traffickers, often with no assistance, and who have banded together to raise awareness and assist  those hurt by commercial sexual exploitation, which is often called prostitution.  As survivors we know that commercial sexual exploitation includes force, fraud and coercion like sex trafficking.  It is simply not credible to suggest prostitution can exist independently of sex trafficking, racism and brutal abuse.  We know that men’s demand to buy sex hurts people in prostitution.  Indigenous peoples and people of color are disproportionately exploited in prostitution as a result of racism and colonialism.

We have been disturbed and disappointed to see Amnesty International suggest full decriminalization of pimps and brothel keepers.  The general public understands (and as survivors we know) that commercial sexual exploitation is controlled by organized crime.  Amnesty’s proposal will only strengthen organized crime’s hold on the exploited and increase its power in vulnerable communities worldwide.

It was shocking for us to see Amnesty’s suggestion that it is a “human right” for well off, powerful (mostly white) men to purchase the bodies of the younger, poorer and more vulnerable.  We found it especially cruel that Amnesty says prostitution is a choice.  As all survivors know, people end up in prostitution because they have no other choices, and are the victims of coercion, fraud, abuse and violence.  The untruth that “prostitution is a choice” only serves to stigmatize and further trap most of the sexually exploited.  This empowers their traffickers and abusers, while serving as a justification to arrest and marginalize the exploited rather than recognizing the truth that they are the victims of multiple crimes.  It also cuts them off from much-needed social supports.

STSU’s members include executive directors of survivor-led organizations providing direct services to minor and adult victims, medical doctors and other health professionals, social workers and family therapists, crime victim advocates and college professors.  Not only have we experienced and escaped the complex world of sex trafficking and healed, many of us have earned college degrees, founded small businesses, established nonprofit victim services organizations, and earned other professional credentials.

As survivors we are directly affected by Amnesty International’s prostitution proposal.  We intend to hold Amnesty International accountable.  We insist that Amnesty proceed with complete transparency on this issue, involve the worldwide survivor community as stakeholders, and operate with the high ethical standards and due diligence demanded of important human rights issues.  It is imperative that those who sexually exploit others not be allowed to speak for the exploited.  Unfortunately this is a common phenomenon.

Source: http://www.sextraffickingsurvivorsunited.org/statement-against-amnesty-internationals-suggestion-that-buying-sex-is-a-human-right/

Amnesty Prostitution Policy document. 

Published by NordicModelAdvocates-Leaked Amnesty International doc on their intention to adopt the policy that “sex work” should be decriminalised.

The first two paragraphs say it all: 

 Decriminalization of Sex Work: Policy Background Document

  1. Policy Overview

Amnesty International is opposed to the criminalization or punishment of activities related to the buying or selling of consensual sex between adults.  Amnesty International believes that seeking, buying, selling and soliciting paid sex are acts  protected from state interference as long as there is no coercion, threats or violence associated with those acts. Legitimate restrictions may be imposed on the practice of sex work if they comply with international human rights law (i.e., they are for a legitimate purpose, appropriate to meet that purpose, proportionate and non-discriminatory).  

Amnesty International believes states have a positive obligation to reform their laws and develop and implement systems and policies that eliminate discrimination against those engaging in sex work. Additionally, states must actively seek to empower the most marginalized in society, including through supporting the rights to freedom of association of those engaging in sex work, establishing frameworks that ensure access to appropriate, quality health services and safe working conditions, and through combating discrimination or abuse based on sex, sexual orientation and/or gender identity or expression. Amnesty International understands the imperfect context in which individuals choose to become sex workers (or miners or foreign domestic workers).  We know that some individuals engaged in sex work do not have the necessary resources or information to leave commercial sex work when they want to.  At the same time, we believe human rights principles requires policy-makers to value the voices of those who are directly affected by inequality and discrimination.  

We believe that policies which purport to support and improve the situation of the resource-poor must focus on empowering the disenfranchised and directly addressing structural disadvantages such as poverty, not on devaluing their decisions and choices or criminalizing the contexts in which they live their lives.  We believe that a policy based on human right principles that values the input and experiences of sex workers is the most likely to ensure that no one enters or stays in sex work involuntary.

Amnesty International considers children involved in commercial sex acts to be victims of sexual exploitation, entitled to support, reparations, and remedies, in line with international human rights law. States must take all appropriate measures to  prevent violence and exploitation of children. The best interests of the child should, in all cases, be a primary consideration and the state should preserve the right of the child to be heard and to have his or her views given due weight in accordance with their age and maturity. See Amnesty International’s policy on decriminalization of sex work for a more detailed explanation of the organization’s policy position.

Source: http://www.scribd.com/doc/202126121/Amnesty-Prostitution-Policy-document

The Nordic Model Can be found at:  http://www.equalitynow.org/sites/default/files/Nordic_Model_EN.pdf

 JDP

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