CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Friday, May 27, 2016

"Why Amnesty International Is Calling for Decriminalizing Sex Work"

From The New York Times:

It’s official: On Wednesday night, Amnesty International released its long-awaited policy on an incredibly contentious issue, calling on governments around the world to “decriminalize consensual sex work.” Amnesty also wants countries to “include sex workers in the development of laws that affect their lives and safety” and ensure they are “protected from harm, exploitation and coercion.”

The hullabaloo over Amnesty’s stance on sex work started last summer, when 500 delegates from 80 countries voted in favor of an initial recommendation to decriminalize. The recommendation was denounced by groups whose goal is to end prostitution, which they see as a source of sexual inequality and harmful to women. Amnesty drew support from public-health advocates and activists who see decriminalization as the best means of reducing the harms associated with the sex industry, including underage prostitution, trafficking and violence. The debate will surely repeat itself, and it will almost as surely be rife with accusations of betrayal.

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