URGENT EMAIL REQUEST FROM Equality Now: Take Action!
“Society’s understanding of human trafficking and prostitution needs to change… Women are human beings, not commodities to be bought and sold.” – Alma, Philippines, survivor and activist
Equality Now and 97 anti-trafficking organizations worldwide, many of which are survivor-led, are deeply concerned with two United Nations (UN) backed reports that were released last year. These reports tell countries that in order to support efforts to reduce HIV/AIDS and to promote the human rights of people in prostitution, all aspects of the commercial sex industry should be decriminalized, including the exploitative and often violent practices of pimping, brothel-keeping and the purchase of sex. They also recommend a narrowing of the UN definition of trafficking. This would prevent many victims of trafficking from being recognized as such, and in turn, would jeopardize their ability to access support and justice, and reduce accountability for their traffickers. Survivor-led groups were not consulted in the drafting of the reports.
These recommendations contradict anti-trafficking efforts and policies that have been widely supported, largely ignore the experiences and views of survivors of prostitution and sex trafficking and jeopardize gender equality. While protecting people in prostitution from HIV/AIDS is imperative, undermining efforts to prevent sex trafficking and promote gender equality cannot be side effects.
Please join survivors, Equality Now and the coalition of 97 anti-trafficking organizations worldwide in urging UNAIDS, UNFPA and UNDP to clarify their position on the decriminalization of pimps, brothel owners and buyers, and to involve a more diverse range of groups working on the issue of prostitution and sex trafficking in the development of future policies and programs.
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