Join the Global Amnesty Protest!

snuffedcandleTomorrow, 23 October 2015, women from all around the world will be protesting Amnesty’s proposal for full decriminalization of the sex trade, including pimps and punters. I have written elsewhere about the shambles of how Amnesty went about developing this proposal, consulting on it and its so-called research.

I have written 120 Questions that Amnesty needs to answer before going any further with this proposal. I am still waiting for Amnesty to answer.

Women will be protesting outside Amnesty offices in the countries in purple on this map (and maybe others that we haven’t managed to get in touch with yet).

globalprotestmpa

For details of the protest in London, UK, see the Amnesty Action website.

For details of the protest in Washington DC, see the End Sexual Exploitation website.

Regardless whether you can join a physical protest, please share your outrage on social media. We are using the image of the snuffed out candle shown above for the protest, to represent how the proposal is a betrayal of Amnesty’s mission to protect the human rights of the most exploited and vulnerable. Continue reading “Join the Global Amnesty Protest!”

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120 Questions for Amnesty

Download PDF of this article.

On 24 August 2015, I published What Amnesty Did Wrong in which I laid out many errors that Amnesty made in developing its proposal for the full decriminalisation of all aspects of “consensual sex work”. This proposal had been passed as a resolution at a meeting of the International Council in Dublin two weeks earlier (referred to as “the resolution” in this article).

In September, members of an internal Amnesty USA discussion forum requested that Amnesty USA respond to all of the points that I raised in that article. On 22 September 2015, Terry Rockefeller replied to the forum on “behalf of the Board and the Priorities Subcommittee” declining to respond to the article because it was “filled with errors and rumors”. She failed to explain who made the errors or what she consider to be rumours. I believe Amnesty needs to clarify this. In order to make it easier for Amnesty to answer the points I raised, I have reframed them as simple questions and include additional questions that arise from Terry Rockefeller’s reply. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list.

Continue reading “120 Questions for Amnesty”

Amnesty’s Response

Download PDF of this article.

On 24 August 2015, I published What Amnesty Did Wrong, in which I laid out many errors that Amnesty made in developing its proposal for the full decriminalisation of all aspects of “consensual sex work”. This proposal had been passed as a resolution at a meeting of the International Council in Dublin two weeks earlier (referred to as “the resolution” in this article).

In September, members of an internal Amnesty USA discussion forum requested that Amnesty USA respond to all of the points that I raised in that article. Below is a response from Terry Rockefeller to the forum on “behalf of the Board and the Priorities Subcommittee”, followed by a few observations of my own.

Continue reading “Amnesty’s Response”

What Amnesty Did Wrong

At a meeting in Dublin on 11 August 2015, Amnesty International’s International Council adopted a resolution to authorise their International Board to develop and adopt a policy on “sex work”. Here is a quote from their press release:

“Sex workers are one of the most marginalized groups in the world who in most instances face constant risk of discrimination, violence and abuse.

The resolution recommends that Amnesty International develop a policy that supports the full decriminalization of all aspects of consensual sex work. The policy will also call on states to ensure that sex workers enjoy full and equal legal protection from exploitation, trafficking and violence.

“We recognize 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. We also consulted with our global movement to take on board different views from around the world,” said Salil Shetty.” [emphasis mine]

The resolution calls not only for the decriminalisation all those involved in prostitution (which all feminist groups call for) but also for the decriminalisation of pimps, punters and brothel owners who are the main perpetrators of the violence and abuse against those in prostitution. This proposal is essentially for the legalisation of prostitution and the entire sex trade. (You can quibble about semantics but when something is not criminal it becomes legal.)

How Amnesty International went about developing this proposal and consulting on it was problematical. In this article I summarise some of the issues. Many others have written eloquently on why the policy itself is misguided (for example, Chris Hedges, Michelle Kelly and Catriona Grant). In this article I focus on the duplicitous nature of Amnesty’s actions. Please use the comments to add additional relevant information.

Continue reading “What Amnesty Did Wrong”