Does Amnesty International campaign for human rights – or men’s rights by Kvinnofronten


Does Amnesty International campaign for human rights – or men’s rights by Kvinnofronten

Amnesty International claims to be a human rights organization. Lately, however, Amnesty seems to exclude women from those who count as humans. Instead, Amnesty endorses guidelines that restrict women’s human rights.
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Amnesty International is currently discussing its policy on prostitution. The proposed new policy is a document* which is entirely based on old myths. The very same myths that the pro-prostitution lobby in many countries no longer succeed in implementing, as they have been contradicted by both research and experience during the last 10-20 years.
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The document contains a number of the pro-prostitution lobby’s usual arguments:

• They put buyers on par with sellers, as if there was no power structure between men and women in prostituion, as in society at large.
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• They criticize laws against prostitution without distinguishing laws that criminalize only the buyer/perpetrator, only the prostituted, or both at the same time.
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• They make a sharp distinction between what they call “sex work” and trafficking, and claim that Amnesty International is obviously against trafficking – thus ignoring that all prostitution share the same basis, as well as the broad research now showing how trafficking is increasing in countries where prostitution is legalized as “sex work”.
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• They claim that it is not prostitution, but society’s negative attitude towards “sex work” that creates health risks in prostitution, despite the fact that health risks – including violence – is an integral part of prostitution as such.
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• They reveal their derogatory view on people with disabilities, and make the experiences of womens with disabilites invisible, by claiming that people with disabilites need “sex workers” because they otherwise cannot “get” sex.
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• They compare views on prostitution with views on homosexuality, as if the daily and global sexual exploitatiton of mostly women and girls had anything to do with the sexual orientation of the exploited.
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• They refer to consent; “sex work” being good because it’s a matter of consenting adults, ignoring among other things the fact that the majority of everyone entering prostitution have earlier experience of sexual abuse, as children or adolescents. The most common age to enter prostitution is 14 years – so this “consent” is basically about adult men and sexual abused children/teenagers.
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• They accuse the majority of people in Sweden to be moralists, by claiming that laws against prostitution are based on puritanism and prejudice. (The Swedish Sex Purchase Act is supported by a large majority of the population.)

The reality of prostitution directly opposes these claims. The vast majority of all prostitution consists of men buying women and girls for their sexual use. It is, in fact, prostitution that comes from an old, puritanical sexual tradition, where the wife, as well as “the whore”, was supposed to be at the disposal of the heterosexual male. Prostitution is based on the sexuality of the buyer. The prerequisite of all prostitution is the expectation that the one being prostituted does not want to “have sex”, and is instead bought – that’s why the “sex trade” exists.
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Aside from this incomprehensible attitude towards prostitution, it turns out that Amnesty International has bowed down to the most patriarchal countries in the world when it comes to abortion. Thus, since 2007, Amnesty International supports women’s right to abortion only after rape or incest or if the woman’s life is in danger. Amnesty International has adopted this abortion policy despite having access to both new and old research proving that the amount of abortions do not decrease by prohibition – it only makes more women die in illegal abortions instead. According to the Chair of the Swedish Amnesty, Sofia Haldt, the reason behind this policy is that the organization has to “compromise” – failing to mention that this “compromising” is being made in a time when women’s right to abortion is threatened in several countries time and time again.
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Consequently Amnesty International is supporting limitations of the human rights of half the population – women. Without changing this course of development soon, Amnesty International can no longer be considered a human rights organization – because then it’s no longer campaigning for the human rights of all people.
Who benefits from this?
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If Amnesty International wants to keep its credibility as a human rights organization, it must immediately stop compromising women’s rights.
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We encourage Amnesty International to read Kvinnofronten’s collection of argument “Speaking of Prostitution” before adopting any new prostitution policy:
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Swedes reject Amnesty in protest of sex vote

A Swedish member of Amnesty has told The Local why she chose to join hundreds of others in quitting the organization after it voted to endorse the decriminalization of sex work.

Amnesty International’s Sweden wing tried to stop the human rights organization from voting through a resolution to lobby governments to decriminalize sex work earlier this week, but was outvoted by delegates from many of Amnesty’s 69 other branches.

“We are against the demand for a universal decriminalization of all aspects of prostitution, that is, even when it comes to buying sex or of those activities enabling sex purchase, such as brothels,” said Anna Lindenfors, secretary-general of Amnesty in Sweden, in a statement.

“We do not think it is clear that a blanket decriminalization of sex purchases and associated activities lead to reduced human rights violations,” she added.

But a majority of other national branches of Amnesty disgreed with Sweden’s stance. The result of the vote therefore sparked anger among Swedish campaigners with hundreds of members quitting the organization.

Read more at The Local

Institute for Feminism and Human Rights~ a Feminist Policy Institute

It is with great concern, we receive the news that Amnesty International today has voted to adopt a policy, which supports the violations committed by the prostitution industry, and which strikes at the heart of the human rights of women and girls. We reconfirm our commitment to continue the struggle against prostitution of women and girls, and against those – pimps, prostitution buyers and traffickers –  who hold up and profit from this form of sexualised violence and oppression directed against women and girls.

EU-projekt kuppat av prostitutionslobbyn by Kajsa Ekis Ekman

Först den goda nyheten: den svenska modellen vinner mark. De senaste åren har Norge, Island, Kanada, Nordirland och Frankrike röstat igenom sexköpslagar och allt fler länder beslutar att rikta in sig på efterfrågan – det vill säga, på den sexköpande mannens ansvar.

Förra året röstade EU-parlamentet igenom en rapport som konstaterade att den svenska modellen var den som fungerat bäst för att stoppa människohandel och utlyste ett forskningsprojekt på 2,5 miljoner euro för ett studera efterfrågan.

Det här betyder också att prostitutionsförespråkarna har ändrat taktik. Mindre av synlig agitation, bloggande och närvaro i feministkretsar och hbtq-rörelser. Istället lobbyism mot berörda institutioner, inriktning på EU, regeringar och organisationer som Amnesty och ILO. Samt skapandet av egna organisationer med snarlika namn som anti-traffickinggrupper (se GAATW, prostitutionslobbyns grupp, grundad sex år efter CATW, feministisk anti-traffickingorganisation).

Nu till den dåliga nyheten: Det var precis en sådan grupp som tog hem EU-projektet om efterfrågan. Projektet DemandAT ser vid en första anblick ut att möta kriterierna: det ”ska utforska efterfrågan på trafficking”, de skriver att ”för lite uppmärksamhet har ägnats köparna själva” och att avsikten är att göra en ”empirisk djupanalys av efterfrågan på människohandel”.

Tittar man närmare på de forskare som valts ut upptäcker man dock något mystiskt. Här sitter nämligen Europas främsta förespråkare för legalisering av sexindustrin. Som den holländska politikern och lobbyisten Marieke van Doorninck. Hon har suttit i styrelsen för så gott som alla den holländska sexindustrins organisationer, bland annat ökända De Graaf Stichting och startat organisationer som kallar sig för ”grupper för sexarbetares rättigheter” som ICRSE – naturligtvis utan att ha varit prostituerad själv. Samt en representant för La Strada: en NGO av holländskt ursprung som riktar in sig på att arbeta för legalisering av prostitution i Östeuropa under förevändning att minska trafficking.

You can read the rest of this article here. An English translation is available here.