mercoledì 1 giugno 2016

Selection of three articles by Amnesty International for June 2, International Whores' Day

Global movement votes to adopt policy to protect human rights of sex workers

11 August 2015, 17:00 UTC

A crucial vote to protect the human rights of sex workers was passed today in Dublin at Amnesty International's decision-making forum, the International Council Meeting (ICM). Delegates from around the world authorized the International Board to develop and adopt a policy on the issue.

"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 recommends that Amnesty International develop a policy that supports the full decriminalization of all aspects of consensual sex work. The policy will also call on states to ensure that sex workers enjoy full and equal legal protection 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.

The research and consultation carried out in the development of this policy in the past two years concluded that this was the best way to defend sex workers' human rights and lessen the risk of abuse and violations they face.

The violations that sex workers can be exposed to include physical and sexual violence, arbitrary arrest and detention, extortion and harassment, human trafficking, forced HIV testing and medical interventions. They can also be excluded from health care and housing services and other social and legal protection.

The policy has drawn from an extensive evidence base from sources including UN agencies, such as the World Health Organization, UNAIDS and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health. We have also conducted research in four countries.

The consultation included sex worker groups, groups representing survivors of prostitution, abolitionist organizations, feminist and other women's rights representatives, LGBTI activists, anti- trafficking agencies and HIV/AIDS organizations.

Amnesty International considers human trafficking abhorrent in all of its forms, including sexual exploitation, and should be criminalized as a matter of international law. This is explicit in this new policy and all of Amnesty International's work.

"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.

"Global movement votes to adopt policy to protect human rights of sex workers", Amnesty International, https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2015/08/global-movement-votes-to-adopt-policy-to-protect-human-rights-of-sex-workers

Sex Workers' Rights are Human Rights

By Catherine Murphy, Policy Advisor at Amnesty International, 14 August 2015, 09:00 UTC

Sex workers all over the world face a constant risk of abuse. This is not news. Nor is it news that they are an extremely marginalized group of people, frequently forced to live outside the law.

No one would be surprised to learn that they face discrimination, beatings, rape and harassment – sometimes on a daily basis – or that they are often denied access to basic health or housing services.

But when word got out that Amnesty International had initiated a consultation to develop a policy to protect the human rights of sex workers, it was like lighting a touchpaper. Journalists and celebrities climbed on the bandwagon. Ever-more sensational headlines condemned Amnesty International for advocating for "prostitution as a human right".

As a global human rights organization, Amnesty International has a responsibility to assess how best to prevent human rights violations. As such, it is right and fitting that we should look at one of the most disadvantaged groups of people in the world, often forced to live outside the law and denied their most basic human rights: sex workers.

We have chosen to advocate for the decriminalization of all aspects of consensual adult sex - sex work that does not involve coercion, exploitation or abuse. This is based on evidence and the real-life experience of sex workers themselves that criminalization makes them less safe.

We reached this position by consulting a wide array of individuals and groups, including but not limited to: sex workers, survivor and abolitionist groups, HIV agencies, women's and LGBTI rights activists, Indigenous women's groups, anti-trafficking groups and leading academics.

We spent more than two years gathering evidence through meetings with hundreds of individuals and organizations. We conducted first-hand research into the lived experience of sex workers under different national and legal contexts.

We would like to claim to be the first to address this issue. But we are not. Other groups which support or are calling for the decriminalization of sex work include the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, International Labour Organization, the Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women, the Global Network of Sex Work Projects, the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, Human Rights Watch, the Open Society Foundations and Anti-Slavery International.

We have at all times committed to address trafficking. Trafficking is an abhorrent abuse of human rights and must be criminalized as a matter of international law. We do not consider a trafficked women who is forced to sell sex to be a "sex worker". She is a trafficked woman and deserves protection as such.

Any foray into the lives of sex workers reveals so many crucial human rights issues that urgently need addressing. How can we reduce the threat of violence to sex workers? What can be done to ensure their access to medical care and help prevent HIV? And how can discrimination and social marginalization that put sex workers at increased risk of abuse be stopped? These questions about health, safety and equality under the law, are more important than any moral objection to the nature of sex work.

To be clear, our policy is not about protecting "pimps". Amnesty International firmly believes that those who exploit or abuse sex workers must be criminalized. But the reality is laws which criminalize "brothel-keeping" and "promotion" often lead to sex workers being arrested and prosecuted themselves. In Norway we found evidence that sex workers were routinely evicted from their homes under so-called "pimping laws". In many countries of the world, two sex workers working together for safety is considered a "brothel".

What we want is a refocussing of laws to tackle acts of exploitation, abuse and trafficking – rather than catch-all-offences that only criminalize and endanger sex workers.

You cannot enter this debate without recognising that it is often women and men who live on the outskirts of society who are forced into sex work. It may be their only way to earn a living. Decriminalizing their work does not mean condoning a world which leads them onto the streets. We want them to enjoy all of their human rights and we will continue to fight for a world where that is possible.

We must not turn away from people like the woman in Papua New Guinea who told us about the time she tried to report abuse by a client to the police only to be told that they did not want to "waste time" on sex workers. Nor should we ignore what happens in Hong Kong where the police are allowed to receive "sexual services" from sex workers in order to collect evidence.

It was clear from the start that this was not going to be easy. Any position inevitably leads to stormy waters. But we hope the intense debate we have sparked – in the media and beyond – will ultimately help lead to the better protection of sex workers.

"Sex Workers' Rights are Human Rights", Amnesty International, https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2015/08/sex-workers-rights-are-human-rights

Decision on State obligations to respect, protect, and fulfil the human rights of sex workers

The International Council

REQUESTS the International Board to adopt a policy that seeks attainment of the highest possible protection of the human rights of sex workers, through measures that include the decriminalisation of sex work, taking into account:

  1. The starting point of preventing and redressing human rights violations against sex workers, and in particular the need for states to not only review and repeal laws that make sex workers vulnerable to human rights violations, but also refrain from enacting such laws.
  2. Amnesty International’s overarching commitment to advancing gender equality and women’s rights.
  3. The obligation of states to protect every individual in their jurisdiction from discriminatory policies, laws and practices, given that the status and experience of being discriminated against are often key factors in what leads people to engage in sex work, as well as in increasing vulnerability to human rights violations while engaged in sex work and in limiting options for voluntarily ceasing involvement in sex work.
  4. The harm reduction principle.
  5. States have the obligation to prevent and combat trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation and to protect the human rights of victims of trafficking.
  6. States have an obligation to ensure that sex workers are protected from exploitation and can use criminal law to address acts of exploitation.
  7. Any act related to the sexual exploitation of a child must be criminalized. Recognizing that a child involved in a commercial sex act is a victim of sexual exploitation, entitled to support, reparations, and remedies, in line with international human rights law, and that states must take all appropriate measures to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse of children.
  8. Evidence that sex workers often engage in sex work due to marginalisation and limited choices, and that therefore Amnesty International will urge states to take appropriate measures to realize the economic, social and cultural rights of all people so that no person enters sex work against their will or is compelled to rely on it as their only means of survival, and to ensure that people are able to stop sex work if and when they choose.
  9. Ensuring that the policy seeks to maximize protection of the full range of human rights – in addition to gender equality, women’s rights, and non-discrimination - related to sex work, in particular security of the person, the rights of children, access to justice, the right to health, the rights of Indigenous peoples and the right to a livelihood.
  10. Recognizing and respecting the agency of sex workers to articulate their own experiences and define the most appropriate solutions to ensure their own welfare and safety, while also complying with broader, relevant international human rights principles regarding participation in decision-making, such as the principle of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent with respect to Indigenous peoples.
  11. The evidence from Amnesty International’s and external research on the lived experiences of sex workers, and on the human rights impact of various criminal law and regulatory approaches to sex work.
  12. The policy will be fully consistent with Amnesty International’s positions with respect to consent to sexual activity, including in contexts that involve abuse of power or positions of authority.
  13. Amnesty international does not take a position on whether sex work should be formally recognized as work for the purposes of regulation. States can impose legitimate restrictions on the sale of sexual services, provided that such restrictions comply with international human rights law, in particular in that they must be for a legitimate purpose, provided by law, necessary for and proportionate to the legitimate aim sought to be achieved, and not discriminatory.

The policy will be capable of flexible and responsive application across and within different jurisdictions, recognizing that Amnesty entities may undertake work on different aspects of this policy and can take an incremental approach to this work (in accordance with and within the limits of this policy) based on assessments of specific legal and policy contexts.

The International Board will ensure that, following the release of the final research report, Sections and structures have an opportunity to review and give feedback on the final draft policy before it is adopted.

On the day that Amnesty International voted to pursue a policy to protect the human rights of sex workers, Deputy Europe Director Gauri van Gulik explains why, what it means and the need for sex workers to have human rights.

"Decision on State obligations to respect, protect, and fulfil the human rights of sex workers", Amnesty International, https://www.amnesty.org/en/policy-on-state-obligations-to-respect-protect-and-fulfil-the-human-rights-of-sex-workers

Questo testo in italiano in Men of Worth Newspaper: "Selezione di tre articoli di Amnesty International per il 2 di giugno, Giornata Internazionale delle Prostitute", http://avezdoshomens2.over-blog.com/2016/06/selezione-di-tre-articoli-di-amnesty-international-per-il-2-di-giugno.html.
Questo testo in italiano in Periódico de Los Hombres de Valía: "Selezione di tre articoli di Amnesty International per il 2 di giugno, Giornata Internazionale delle Prostitute", http://avezdoshomens2.blogspot.com.br/2016/06/selezione-di-tre-articoli-di-amnesty.html.
Ce texte en français au Men of Worth Newspaper: "Sélection de trois articles par Amnesty International pour le 2 de juin, Journée Internationale des Prostituées", http://avezdoshomens2.over-blog.com/2016/06/selection-de-trois-articles-par-amnesty-international-pour-le-2-de-juin.html.
Ce texte en français au Periódico de Los Hombres de Valía: "Sélection de trois articles par Amnesty International pour le 2 de juin, Journée Internationale des Prostituées", http://avezdoshomens2.blogspot.com.br/2016/06/selection-de-trois-articles-par-amnesty.html.
Eso texto en español en Men of Worth Newspaper: "Selección de tres artículos de Amnistía Internacional para el 2 de junio, Día Internacional de las Putas", http://avezdoshomens2.over-blog.com/2016/06/seleccion-de-tres-articulos-de-amnistia-internacional-para-el-2-de-junio.html.
Eso texto en español en Periódico de Los Hombres de Valía: "Selección de tres artículos de Amnistía Internacional para el 2 de junio, Día Internacional de las Putas", http://avezdoshomens2.blogspot.com.br/2016/06/seleccion-de-tres-articulos-de-amnistia.html.
Este texto em português no A Vez das Mulheres de Verdade: "Seleção de três artigos da Anistia Internacional para 2 de junho, Dia Internacional da Prostituta", http://avezdasmulheres.over-blog.com/2016/06/selecao-de-tres-artigos-da-anistia-internacional-para-2-de-junho.html.
Este texto em português no A Vez dos Homens que Prestam: "Seleção de três artigos da Anistia Internacional para 2 de junho, Dia Internacional da Prostituta", http://avezdoshomens.blogspot.com.br/2016/06/selecao-de-tres-artigos-da-anistia.html.
Original text in English at Men of Worth Newspaper: "Selection of three articles by Amnesty International for June 2, International Whores' Day", http://avezdoshomens2.over-blog.com/2016/06/selection-of-three-articles-by-amnesty-international-for-june-2.html.
Original text in English at Periódico de Los Hombres de Valía: "Selection of three articles by Amnesty International for June 2, International Whores' Day", http://avezdoshomens2.blogspot.com.br/2016/06/selection-of-three-articles-by-amnesty.html.

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