After Amnesty, what’s next? A call to global action by Kathleen Barry

I was in Europe doing research for Female Sexual Slavery in 1977 when I met with the Executive Director of Amnesty International in London. I had thought, naively, that in following their mandate to address state torture, Amnesty would have had documentation of the traffic in women and children. Instead what I got was: Sexual slavery? Traffic in women? Never happened. That was a fiction of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. And of course this was capped off with the tiresome “sex between consenting adults,” mantra that excuses and enables men who buy women. Even then, as they have done in their latest campaign to promote prostitution through decriminalization of pimps and buyers,  in the words of own Meghan Murphy, “they are just making shit up and stating it as fact!!?!?”

A few years ago, Julie Bindel broke ground by exposing and publishing a secret draft of Amnesty International’s proposal to prostitution. Within a few weeks of Bindel’s exposé, Abolish Prostitution Now launched campaigns on several continents and many countries to sway the national Amnesty general meetings within countries, proposing the Nordic Model instead, which criminalizes pimps and men who buy women and children for sexual use and abuse. Then we heard that Amnesty International would be voting on it.

All of a sudden, as if from everywhere, human rights and women’s rights activists including the painfully powerful voices of survivors began a global mass movement to stop Amnesty’s sex industry supported proposal. In campaigns against Amnesty’s now adopted policy, we have raised national and global consciousness about the sexual exploitation of prostitution. In just weeks, we have sparked a massive movement.  ….


Read more at Feminist Current

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