On August 11 2015, a crucial vote to protect the human rights of sex workers was passed at Amnesty International’s decision-making forum, the International Council Meeting (ICM). Delegates voted in favor of harm reduction practices as the best way to protect the human rights of sex workers. Before the vote took place, sex worker advocacy groups from around the world wrote in to support the new policy, and we were all overjoyed at the affirmative vote for the advance of human rights for all.
This measure was not without opposition. The original draft policy put forth by Amnesty was met with vitriolic resistance by prostitution prohibitionists. With the aid of Hollywood celebrities, groups such as the Coalition Against the Trafficking of Women circulated petitions to repeal the proposal, accusing Amnesty of being pro-pimp, and indifferent to trafficking, all of which is blatantly not true.
We Need to Defend Amnesty’s Decision
Despite the affirmative vote by the International Council, prostitution prohibitionists persist in trying to unravel the human rights of sex workers. We need to stand up and balance the conversation, and speak up for the human rights of sex workers and their communities. Amnesty has done a great job of defending their stance, but we need to send a clear message to the world that we support Amnesty’s brave, sound, and progressive decision, which was well researched and included the input of sex workers themselves.
Will you join us?
Several Ways You Can Help
- Find your Local Amnesty Group and write them a letter stating your support for the recent decision to advance the human rights of sex workers.
- Start attending Local Group meetings to voice your support. Express your support for this decision. Ask how the group plans on addressing this vote and whether they intend on advancing the issue in their region. (PS: Amnesty International is awesome, and attending their meetings is worthwhile regardless of this vote)
- Register and attend an upcoming Regional Conference.
Regional Conference Dates:
Mid Atlantic Regional Conference Nov 13-15 – Baltimore, MD
Mid Western Regional Conference Oct 23-25 – Minneapolis, MN
Northeast Regional Conference Nov 7 – Boston, MA
Southern Regional Conference Oct 23-25 – Miami, FL
Western Regional Conference Nov 20 – 22 – Los Angeles, CA