West coast: Tell Amnesty you support victims of the sex trade, not their exploiters

Posted by on November 15, 2015 in News

Stand with Survivors

Attention residents of the West Coast, Rocky Mountain, and Southwestern states: you have the unique opportunity to tell Amnesty International to reverse its recent support of full decriminalization of the sex trade (including sex-buying, pimping, and brothel owning).

The Amnesty International Western Regional Conference is being held this weekend—November 20-22—at the Sheraton Gateway in Los Angeles. During this event, members will vote on a resolution calling on Amnesty to reconsider its recently passed policy and adopt a new version that still supports the sex trade’s victims, but without doing the same for their exploiters.


Why is this needed?

  • The research used to justify the original resolution was one-sided and incomplete. It recommends full decriminalization of the sex trade, but didn’t study any countries in which the sex trade is legal, like Germany or the Netherlands; both have experienced increases in unregulated prostitution and trafficking to meet high demand for legal prostitution.
  • Though the resolution will have widespread impact, not all members were consulted during the research and drafting process.
  • A number of Amnesty country sections, including AI France and AI Sweden, have expressed their opposition to this policy. The Women’s Group of AI Norway has also seceded from their country’s chapter in protest.
  • The decision is short-sighted; it focuses only on those currently in prostitution but does not consider the future impact for those at risk for exploitation in the future.
  • Amnesty International did not consult many survivors of the sex trade or their organizations, who call for decriminalization only of prostituted persons—not brothel-keepers, pimps, or buyers of sex.
  • They failed to consult global grassroots and front-line organizations that serve prostituted women. Longtime supporters of Amnesty are unhappy with this decision, including well-known human right activists such as President Jimmy Carter and Gloria Steinem

 What can I do to help?

  1. Become a member of Amnesty International-$25.00. You need to be a member to vote. (If you are unsure of your membership status, call 1-800-Amnesty.)
  2. Pick up your registration packet at the event venue on November 20 or 21 before 12pm and vote at 9am on November 22.
  3. Sign and promote this petition urging Amnesty International not to adopt any policy that supports the full decriminalization of the sex industry.