Statement on sex work consultation
Sex workers are one of the most marginalised groups in the world so it is important that we understand how, as Amnesty International, we can work to support their human rights. We know that this is a divisive, sensitive and complex issue and we need to get it right. That is why we have been working for the last two years to develop a policy that is based on solid research and consultation with stakeholders.
This consultation is ongoing and any version of the policy that exists is still draft, subject to further consultation.
For the current draft we have drawn from an extensive evidence base from sources including UN agencies, such as the World Health Organisation, UN AIDS, UN Women and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health. We have also conducted detailed research in four countries.
Amnesty International’s national offices around the world have also helped shape the policy through extensive and open consultation with many different stakeholders. These have included sex worker groups, groups representing survivors of prostitution, abolitionist organisations, feminist and other women's rights representatives, anti- trafficking agencies and HIV/AIDS activists.
The research and feedback have helped shape the current draft of the proposed policy.
The consultation doesn't change Amnesty International's long-standing position that forced labour and human trafficking constitute serious human rights abuses and must be criminalised. Under international law, States have obligations to prevent, suppress and punish human trafficking, especially of women and children, and Amnesty will continue to call for this.
It is important to stress that given that the consultation process is still on-going, no decisions have been made. No policy has been adopted by Amnesty International and it is not possible to speculate about the eventual outcome of the vote.
The draft will go to Amnesty International’s main decision making forum, the International Council Meeting (ICM), which takes place in Dublin from 7-11 August.