01/31/2014 05:18 EST | Updated 04/02/2014 05:59 EDT

Dear Amnesty International, Legal Prostitution Harms Women

To: Amnesty International

I am writing to urge Amnesty International to reconsider its policy position, leaked to the public, which promotes the legalization of prostitution and the rights of pimps over the rights of victims of sexual exploitation.

Your policy document, Decriminalization of Sex Work, argues that pimps and men who buy sex should be "free from government interference" because they are simply "exercising their autonomy" and should be allowed to do so. Moreover, that governments have an "obligation" to create an environment where pimps can operate freely to engage prostituted people.

AI supports its position to legalize prostitution, stating: "The criminalization of voluntary sex between adults, whether for direct monetary gain or otherwise, threatens the rights to health, non-discrimination, equality, privacy, and security of person."

AI justifies itself further arguing that individuals with disabilities require access to prostituted people to improve their sense of "life enjoyment and dignity." This is highly offensive and degrading to the disabled community.

AI has built its reputation on advocating for victims around the world. Why is AI abandoning victims now? Amnesty International has squandered its moral authority and is losing its way.

The vast majority of sexually exploited victims are under-age, lured by pimps with promises of lavish and extravagant lifestyles. The modern day slave trade is defined by these vulnerable victims, who come of age, with little hope of escape from their traffickers.

We need to recognize prostitution for what it is. It is inherently harmful to women and girls and therefore must be eliminated. Legalization is the wrong approach.

With this policy, AI is deliberately ignoring mounting empirical evidence about the harm against women and will find themselves on the wrong side of history and women's equality

Worldwide, we must ensure pimps and purchasers of sex remain severely sanctioned and prostituted women and girls are not criminalized. Instead, they must be given meaningful escape routes from their traffickers to regain their lives and dignity.

I hope Amnesty International will reconsider its position and advocate for measures such as the Nordic Model that will eliminate the prostitution of women not promote it.


Prostitution Decision