11 August 2015: Amnesty International today has voted to move forward with adopting a policy that seeks to decriminalize all aspects of the commercial sex industry in the name of protecting the human rights of people in the sex trade. In doing so, it has ignored the clear links between prostitution and sex trafficking that it says it opposes, as well as the incompatibility of the commercial sex trade with gender equality, human rights and international law. It has ignored survivors of the commercial sex trade who repeatedly called on the organization to rethink its position based on their experiences and to adopt a policy that seeks to curb, rather than facilitate, the commercial sex trade.
“As a partner human rights organization created specifically to fill a need that Amnesty was not addressing — namely a focus on women’s rights — Equality Now is very disappointed and deeply concerned by Amnesty’s decision today,” stated Yasmeen Hassan, Global Executive Director of Equality Now.
Founded in 1992, Equality Now is an organization that advocates for the human rights of women and girls around the world by raising international visibility of individual cases of abuse, mobilizing public support through our global membership, and wielding strategic political pressure to ensure that governments enact or enforce laws and policies that uphold the rights of women and girls. With offices in New York, Nairobi and London and presences in Amman, Jordan and Washington, DC, our areas of focus include Discrimination in Law, Sexual Violence, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Trafficking. Combining grassroots activism with international, regional and national legal advocacy, we envision a world in which women and men have equal rights under the law and full enjoyment of those rights.