Here is a challenge. You are Amnesty International. You want to take a position on sex work. It must not, however, have an impact anyone else’s human rights, in particular the “human right” of men to purchase sex. Therefore whatever your research throws up, your conclusion has been set in advance. How can you get from A to B, at least without openly treading on the corpses of too many trafficked women and girls?
Fear not! For now you can read Amnesty’s own draft policy doc and work out how it’s done …
Define your terms
Worried about how to deal with that whole issue surrounding trafficking, exploitation and coercion? Why not point out that “by definition, sex work means that sex workers who are engaging in commercial sex have consented to do so”? Sorted! Sure, as definitions go, it’s a bit “no true Scotsman.” You have, “by definition,” cut off all engagement with a deeply problematic part of what the term “sex work” is used to justify. Almost all those who buy sex will tell themselves that “by definition” it is consensual. In reality they have no idea. But we’re not dealing with reality, are we? Just a definition.