Action Alert: Twitter campaign in support of Amnesty International

ACTION ALERT… ACTION ALERT…ACTION ALERT…ACTION ALERT…

Please join the Twitter campaign today in support of Amnesty International’s policy “to protect the human rights of sex workers, through measures that include the decriminalisation of sex work”.

Counter the Social Media Campaign @NoAmnesty4Women which deliberately misrepresents Amnesty International’s policy.

The Amnesty policy is “based on evidence and the real-life experience of sex workers that criminalization makes them less safe.”

AI’s policy does not protect pimps. It made clear that “those who exploit or abuse sex workers must be criminalized.” Laws against rape, trafficking and other violence should be vigorously implemented. But laws which criminalize ‘brothel-keeping’ and ‘promotion’ often lead to sex workers being arrested and prosecuted themselves. In Norway Amnesty International found evidence that “sex workers were routinely evicted from their homes under so-called ‘pimping laws”. In the UK along with many other countries of the world, a flat where two sex workers are working together for safety is considered a ‘brothel’.

AI’s policy does not support the criminalisation of clients because they found that “even though sex workers are not directly criminalized under the Nordic model [where clients are criminalised] operational aspects – like purchasing sex and renting premises to sell sex in – are still criminalized. This compromises sex workers safety and leaves them vulnerable to abuse.”

AI’s policy does not promote sex work. It recognises that “ . . . sex workers often engage in sex work as their only means of survival and because they have no other choice.” It therefore puts obligations on states to provide resources in the form of “state benefits, education and training and/or alternative employment” to help sex workers leave prostitution if they want. This is even more crucial now that austerity is driving so many people, particularly mothers and other women, into destitution and therefore into sex work. Many asylum seekers who have been denied benefits and the right to work have no other way to survive.

AI’s policy spells out the harm caused by criminalisation, specifically the ways in which it puts sex workers at greater risk of violence, including police violence; denies sex workers access to justice and police protection; and encourages discrimination in the provision of housing, health and immigration status.

AI’s policy recognises that women, transgender people and migrants are over represented in sex work because of discrimination, and demands that states take action to improve and support their situation not “devalue their decisions, compromise their safety and criminalise the context of their lives.”

Opponents of AI’s policy ignore the success of decriminalisation in New Zealand introduced in 2003, and evidence that the Swedish law which criminalised clients has endangered sex workers.

  1. Please tweet your support to Amnesty International @AmnestyOnline and to @AmnestyUK
  2. Send your tweets to organisations you follow asking them to pledge their support for Amnesty International for example: Fawcett Society, National Alliance of Women’s Organisations, Women’s Aid.
  3. Send us your tweets @ProstitutesColl and #pledgedecrim 

Model tweets: