Appeal for Support: Amnesty International proposed 'Sex Work Policy'
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Dear supporters,
As some of you may be aware, Amnesty International will host its International Council Meeting (ICM) here in Dublin next week (7-11 August 2015).  The ICM is Amnesty International’s main decision-making forum and brings together members of Amnesty representing nations across the globe.  One of the matters under consideration at the ICM is Amnesty’s ‘Draft policy on sex work’.  At present, Ruhama is extremely concerned about the content of this policy, and its implications for the global fight against sexual exploitation, should Amnesty choose to endorse it. 
This policy frames prostitution as a legitimate form of work (i.e. ‘sex work’), and fails on many levels to recognise the violence, coercion, poverty and other vulnerabilities that draw so many vulnerable women and girls into the sex trade. 
As you know, Ruhama has long called for the decriminalisation specifically of those who sell sex – we believe that vulnerable people in prostitution should never be criminalised as a result of themselves being exploited in the sex trade.  However, what Amnesty is proposing in its draft policy is of a very different order – namely the decriminalisation of the entire sex industry – this includes the sellers, but it also includes the pimps, brothel managers, sex trade ‘organisers’ and the sex buyers, all of whom very clearly benefit and in many cases profit from those who sell sex.
Many, including ourselves, are horrified that a world-renowned human rights organisation such as Amnesty would support an industry that thrives on the exploitation of so many.  In seeking to support the free reign of the sex trade, Amnesty is arguably stamping on the human rights of some of the most vulnerable and exploited women and girls in the world.
The ICM is almost upon us and time is of the essence, so we have outlined below a number of key actions you can take to support the global efforts to stop Amnesty International adopting this highly damaging position: 
1.       Read
A public statement from survivors of prostitution – giving the survivor perspective on Amnesty’s proposals
Amnesty International says prostitution is a human right – but it's wrong – a Guardian article by a renowned international human rights lawyer that explains the situation a bit further
2.       Sign
Add your voice by signing this petition by CATW – The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women International (Ruhama is already a co-signatory)
3.       Like, tweet & share
Visit and ‘like’ this Facebook page No Amnesty for Pimps and Johns to show your support, follow and retweet NoAmnesty4Pimps on Twitter, use the hashtags #noamnesty4pimps and #questionsforamnesty and share all of the above with your friends and contacts.
4.       Contact
Wherever you are in the world, and especially if you are a member of Amnesty International yourself, please consider contacting your national section of Amnesty, to express your concerns about the policy under consideration.
Ruhama is currently working with a range of national and international organisations to protest this proposal as being entirely contrary to the promotion of the human rights of some of the most vulnerable women & girls across the globe.  We hope you can join us by undertaking some or indeed all of the actions outlined above! 
Thanking you in advance for your support,
Very best wishes,
Ruhama Team
Copyright © 2015 Ruhama, All rights reserved.

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