The big word in Amnesty’s defense of voting to decriminalize the sex industry is protection. All was done to protect the women in prostitution. We were told that the right to buy sex and the right to pimp are measures necessary to protect women in prostitution. In the lead up to the vote, the organization was offended by those who pointed out that its alleged objective of protecting women is a protection racket for pimps and prostitution users.
Amnesty’s policy goes far beyond decriminalizing the women but also decriminalizes the perpetrators — the men who procure women and those who buy them for sexual gratification by contributing the funds that keep sexual slavery alive and well.
What poses as Amnesty’s masquerade of protection for women in prostitution?
An alleged poverty program for poor women. It was Ken Roth, the director of Human Rights Watch, tweeting his support for Amnesty’s proposal to decriminalize the sex industry, who gave this game away in saying: “Why deny poor women the option of voluntary sex work?” Ken joined the chorus of johns who spout a welfare narrative to justify their sexual exploitation by turning it into a virtue. He echoed the American prostitution user interviewed in the Philippines: “These girls gotta eat, don’t they? I’m putting bread on their plate. I’m making a contribution.”
A policy initiated by the perpetrators who are beneficiaries. As Julie Bindel first revealed, Amnesty took to heart the lobbying of Douglas Fox, co-founder of a UK escort agency who claimed credit for Amnesty’s draft policy advocating full decriminalization of the sex industry. In 2008 as a member of Amnesty, Fox urged the organization not only to support “sex workers” by promoting full decriminalization but also pushed his associates in the sex industry to join the organization and lobby from inside. “Getting Amnesty on side will be a huge boost to our morale… we need to pursue them mercilessly and get them on side,” he said. Amnesty tried to distance itself from Fox by arguing he was not a current member and had no input into the policy, but his fingerprints and those he represents were all over it.