Amnesty International delegates have voted in favour of adopting a policy for the full decriminalisation of prostitution. This represents not only the “decriminalisation of sex work”, as proponents have claimed, but also the decriminalisation of pimping, brothel-keeping and sex-buying. It is a move some feminists have labelled a “betrayal of women’s human rights”.
But the policy has been met with scathing criticism from a wide range of women’s groups, sex trade survivors’ groups, and grassroots organisations working at the frontlines of ending men’s violence against women.
These include: the Institute for Feminism and Human Rights, the European Women’s Lobby, Equality Now, Eaves charity for women, nia, the London Abused Women’s Centre, Terre Des Femmes, Resistenza Femminista, SPACE International, Kvinnofronten, Sex Trade 101,Vancouver Rape Relief, AF3IRM, Apne Aap and the Victims of Prostitution and Poverty Alliance, and the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – to name but a few.
All of these organisations agree with Amnesty International about the need to decriminalise prostituted persons. But, there is deep disagreement about anything beyond that.