Amnesty Vote for Sex Work Decriminalisation

Well, it has to be said, yesterday was an absolutely fantastic day. For those of you who don’t know, the international council of Amnesty International took the ground-breaking decision to back the decriminalisation of sex work all over the world. This move is a huge step on the way to making the world a lot safer for those who decide to engage in this line of work.

Woman with condom behind her back looks at man on bed
Girl with condom before sex with her partner

A Brilliant Move

“Sex workers are one of the most marginalized groups in the world who in most instances face constant risk of discrimination, violence and abuse. Our global movement paved the way for adopting a policy for the protection of the human rights of sex workers which will help shape Amnesty International’s future work on this important issue,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

The resolution calls for a policy that calls for the full decriminalisation of consensual sex work. The policy also calls for all states to ensure sex workers are free from exploitation, trafficking and violence.

“We recognize that this critical human rights issue is hugely complex and that is why we have addressed this issue from the perspective of international human rights standards. We also consulted with our global movement to take on board different views from around the world,” said Salil Shetty.

After researching and speaking to real sex workers (a novel concept I know) they decided that the best way to protect those who engage in the sale of sex is to keep them safe from attack and violations. These violations include violence, sexual violence, human trafficking, extortion and other unpleasant things.

The policy came after extensive evidence from UN agencies, such as the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, UN Women and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health. The consultation included sex worker groups who represented ‘survivors’ of prostitution, anti-trafficking organisations, women’s rights groups, sexual health groups and abolitionists.

Although it was a decision that was thought about long and hard, they are certainly happy with the choice that was made.

This is a historic day for Amnesty International. It was not a decision that was reached easily or quickly and we thank all our members from around the world, as well as all the many groups we consulted, for their important contribution to this debate. They have helped us reach an important decision that will shape this area of our human rights work going forward,” said Salil Shetty.

Full Agreement

It has to be said, everyone here at Escort Ireland is delighted with the decision. Firstly, every woman (and man for that matter) has the right to choose what line of work they go into. Once they have made that decision, they then have the right to do it in a safe environment. Laws should never be made due to moralising; it is the safety of the nation that should be paramount.

Now that a highly respected organisation like Amnesty International are on board, it will become more difficult for governments to introduce the Swedish model. I very much doubt they will be able to accuse AA of being ‘pimps’ and ‘traffickers’. Then again, with some of these people, you never know.

However, the battle doesn’t stop here. It will take a lot of work for governments to be convinced criminalisation isn’t the way to go. This is a great step, but there are many others to go.

Let’s get to work people.

Martin Ward
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Martin Ward

Martin Ward is a well respected editor and writer with over five years experience in the adult industry. After stints in the Escort Advertising call centre and on the escort forum, he moved into the site editor position around three years ago.

Since then, he has specialised in articles on the battle for equal rights for sex workers, sexual health, as well as bringing the readers fun news from around the world. He also has a major interest in LGBT rights, and is an active campaigner in this field.

When he isn't fighting the good fight, he enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, and young daughter. He also enjoys reading and taking long walks.
Martin Ward
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