Boycot Amnesty International for supporting Pimps and Johns!

I used to be a member of Amnesty International – an active member, who went along to meetings and AGMs, who donated monthly, and who contributed to human rights debates. 

I have now withdrawn my membership, my regular financial giving and my support for Amnesty International for their misconduct over the following matter.

Amnesty International have a new global policy on prostitution, and it favours pimps and johns (men who purchase sex), forgetting about the victims if prostitution through human trafficking, sexual servitude and debt bondage. 

The proposed Amnesty International global policy on prostitution fights for the rights of men to purchase sex off women. 

This document states that criminalizing a prostitute’s client is an attack against both privacy and individuals free choice. This document also states that the access to  prostituted women is a fundamental human right. 

This Blog  spells out a myriad of considerations for such a ridiculous portion really well. 

What about the fundamental human right of women not be exploited, not to be commodified, and not to be subject to slavery, abuse and rape? 

Men paying for sex are addicts using women’s bodies as drugs, said a former victim. Men believe the time they have purchased to be with a woman puts them completely in control.

Human trafficking is fuelled by a demand for prostitution.

It works on the simple economic principle of supply and demand. 

Vulnerable victims are exploited in the sex trade on a daily basis across the world. 

According to a United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime Report, the crime of trafficking in persons affects virtually every country in every region of the world. Between 2010 and 2012, victims with 152 different citizenships were identified in 124 countries across the globe.

Most victims of trafficking in persons are foreigners in the country where they are identified as victims – more than 6 in 10 of all victims – have been trafficked across at least one national border.

The majority of trafficking victims are subjected to sexual exploitation.

The UNODC Report goes on to reveal that approximately half of all detected trafficking victims are adult women. 

Women comprise the vast majority of the detected victims who were trafficked for sexual exploitation.  In some regions, particularly in Asia, most of the victims of trafficking for forced labour were women.

Since UNODC started to collect information on the age profile of detected trafficking victims, the share of children among the detected victims has been increasing. Globally, children now comprise nearly one third of all detected trafficking victims. Out of every three child victims, two are girls and one is a boy.

The UNODC Report also revealed that for nearly all crimes, male offenders vastly outnumber females.

At the Amnesty International 2014 AGM, a member of Scarlet Alliance spoke on the benefits of being a stay-at home single mother to a toddler while working from home as a prostitute. 

These prostitutes are referred to as ‘sole operators’ under the ACT Prostitution Act (1992)

The Scarlet Alliance is a lobby group set up to advocate for sex workers, claiming that it works towards sex worker rights (legal, health, industrial, civil) and uses health promotion approaches to achieve this. Scarlet Alliance promotes best practices including peer education, community development, community engagement and advocacy.

In the ACT, the Scarlet Alliance is referred to as SWOP ACT

The motivations of the Scarlet Alliance have come under question a number of times, as they are known to be run by brothel owners, with a vested interest in the legalization model, for business reasons, and for publicly claiming that human trafficking does not exist in Australia today.  

Besides being terribly worried about the best interest of the child in this scenario, I am also worried about the safety and wellbeing of women being exploited in such environments.

It was also concerning to me that Amnesty International simply arranged for a representative from Scarlet Alliance to speak on the benefits of the legalization of prostitution, without hearing from anyone from the other side, and without considering all of the facts in the debate. 

At the 2014 Amnesty International AGM meeting, the policy motion for the global acceptance of the legalization of prostitution as the preferred model was put forward, without much debate. 

I raised some concerns about such a proposal at the meeting from the floor, quoting statistics, facts and case studies on the prevalence of human trafficking and sexual slavery and servitude that existed in Australia as a result of laws that facilitated such exploitation of vulnerable women and girls. 

To make matters worse, it is understood from a public UN event, that the leaked draft paper advocating for legalizing “sex work” by Amnesty International was authored in part by a former pimp now on staff with Amnesty International, who was creating a “right to men to buy sex”.

I then proceeded to write a Submission to the Amnesty International Headquarters in Lodn on the pitfalls of the legalized model of prostitution, and the evidence for the international best practice model for curbing human trafficking, known as the Nordic Model, which was considered in France, Canada and Ireland just last year by their parliaments. 

I sent my Submission on the victim-centered approach of the Nordic Model as an alternative to what seemed like the favored legalization of prostitution model – which was due to the coordinated and overwhelming campaign by the Scarlet Alliance. 

To date, I have not heard back from the International office of Amnesty International in London in relation to my Submission. 

Amnesty’s Secretary General Salil Shetty received a complaint about the conduct of the International Secretariat (IS) and the International Board regarding the fast tracking of the development and consultation process for the Sex Work Policy discussion paper.

Salil Shetty has been requested to establish an independent investigation into the role of the IS and the Board during the development of the Sex Work Policy discussion paper and the consultation process. In an internal document sent to Sections, Structure Chairs and Directors and the International Board, the International Secretariat admitted that…. ‘There is no question that the consultation process could have been handled much better.’ 

My NorMAC colleague Matthew Holloway wrote about it in the Tasmanian Times here.

As a long term supporter of the Nordic approach to curb human trafficking, and therefore as a member of NorMAC, I am appalled that a donor-based organization, such as Amnesty International, who seeks the good will of citizens to support them financially as well as supporting their campaigns, would violate procedural protocol in such a profane way. 

Thank goodness the survivors of sexual slavery and human trafficking are speaking out about this ridiculous international policy position that Amnesty International has taken without thorough research, consultation or consideration given to the matter. 

Women rescued from prostitution are criticizing UN agencies and Amnesty International for trying to legalize prostitution insisting legalization would lead to more girls being trafficked, and transform pimps into legitimate businessmen.

“When [UN personnel] work in a brothel then will I listen to their argument,” said one former prostituted woman referring to the newly-created agency called UN Women.

“What the hell are they [Amnesty International] thinking,” said Rachel Moran, a former prostituted woman from Ireland.

Rachel Moran is the author of ‘Paid For: My Journey Through Prostitution’.

UN agencies recently released reports telling countries to decriminalize all aspects of prostitution to reduce HIV/AIDS and promote human rights.

A UN Development Program (UNDP) report on HIV and the Law and Sex Work and the Law in Asia and the Pacific, a UNDP, UN Population Fund and UNAIDS-backed report, calls for decriminalizing prostitution.

The UN reports imply prostituted women “work” by choice.

Natasha Falle, founder of SEXTRADE 101 said upwards of 95 percent want to exit but need assistance. Falle, a Canadian sex trafficking survivor, has helped hundreds of women escape prostitution.

The UN reports suggest legalization provides safeguards for prostituted women.

Wrong again, said the panelists. Men paying for sex are addicts using women’s bodies as drugs, said a former victim. Men believe the time they have purchased to be with a woman puts them completely in control. Laws requiring condom use cannot be enforced.

You can read the full article here

If you want to stand against gender violence, against the trafficking and sexual slavery of women and girls, and if you want to tell Amnesty International that it is not ok to legalise the abuse of women through prostitution laws, please sign this petition:

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