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. 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. (there may be more than one…if you are close to several, may as well contact all of them, including student groups. If you have limited time, focus on the bigger Groups)
- Write to your local Group! Voice your opinion by sending an email stating why you defend Amnesty’s decision to uphold the human rights of sex workers. You can use this form letter, if you would like…just cut and past your contact info and the Group name into it.
- Show up to a meeting! Ask if the sex work policy has already been discussed by the group, and where they stand on it. Offer to provide handouts and information (see below), and suggest that they contact SWOP-USA for deeper information on the topic.
- Become a member of Amnesty International. AI is an amazing human rights organization that deserves our support. As a member, your voice and opinion carries more weight.
Sign up to attend a Regional Amnesty International Conference
SWOP-USA is trying to ensure that we have at least a few supporters at each upcoming Regional Conference. Attendees would be there to pipe up in defense of the AI sex work policy, and to hand out flier and information. Fill out this form if you are planning on going, and we’ll get you what you need.
**DEADLINE for REQUESTING FUNDING is FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16TH!
Regional Conference Dates:
Southern Regional Conference Oct 23-25 – Miami, FL
Mid Western Regional Conference Oct 23-25 – Minneapolis, MN
Northeast Regional Conference Nov 7 – Boston, MA
Mid Atlantic Regional Conference Nov 13-15 – Baltimore, MD
Western Regional Conference Nov 20 – 22 – Los Angeles, CA
Handouts and articles for you to hand out, link to, and spread around in defense of AI.
We will be generating more materials this month in preparation for the Regional Conferences. If you have a handout you would like shared, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Decision on State Obligations to Respect, Protect, and Fulfil the Human Rights of Sex Workers
This is the policy Amnesty has put forth regarding sex work. It is brief, so read it.
Breakdown of AI’s New Policy
Double sided single sheet, includes lot’s of photos of global sex worker rights protests.
Double sided, single sheet response to common myths that lead people to support the Nordic Model of prostitution.