Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Amnesty International: decriminalize sex trade

Amnesty approves policy to decriminalise sex trade | World news | The Guardian - Jessica Elgot:

August 11, 2015 - "Amnesty International has approved a policy to endorse the decriminalisation of the sex trade.

"At its decision-making forum in Dublin, the human rights group approved the resolution to recommend 'full decriminalisation of all aspects of consensual sex work'.

"It argued that its research suggested decriminalisation was the best way to defend the rights of sex workers, rejecting complaints by women’s groups who said it was tantamount to advocating the legalisation of pimping and brothel-owning.

"'We recognise that this critical human rights issue is hugely complex and that is why we have addressed this issue from the perspective of international human rights standards,' said Salil Shetty, the secretary general of Amnesty International. 'We also consulted with our global movement to take on board different views from around the world.'

"Amnesty’s decision is important because the organisation will use its weight to lobby governments to accept its point of view.

"Many former sex workers have criticised the decision.... However Amnesty’s decision has also been welcomed by some sex industry figures. 'I am thrilled,' said Laura Lee, an Irish sex worker and activist. 'It is the best way forward to take sex work out of the Dark Ages and give us the rights and protection we deserve.'

Morgane Merteuil, a former sex worker and general secretary of the French sex workers’ trade union Strass, told Newsweek: 'We support this because from experience we know that criminalisation harms sex workers, their human rights and their capacity to self-organise and fight against abusers.

"'The crimes committed against sex workers are already crimes. But the law against pimping also criminalises individuals who come into contact with prostitutes. It makes it harder for sex workers to build relationships, it means they can’t tell people what they do, they can’t share their money and they can’t get access to healthcare.'"

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