Coalition Against Trafficking in Women International (CATW)
The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women-International (CATW) is a non-governmental organization that promotes women's human rights by working internationally to combat sexual exploitation in all its forms.
Founded in 1988, CATW was the first international non-governmental organization to focus on human trafficking, especially sex trafficking of women and girls. CATW obtained Category II Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council in 1989.
CATW is creating real and lasting changes in countries around the world by launching and supporting anti-trafficking projects in areas that few programs address: the links between prostitution and trafficking; challenging the demand for prostitution that promotes sex trafficking; and protecting the women and children who are its victims by working to curb legal acceptance and tolerance of the sex industry.
Started 3 petitions
Remove Strip Club Ads from Yellow Taxi Toppers
Yellow taxis are an integral part of New York City, worldwide symbols of the metropolis itself. Stand on any New York street and a sea of yellow cabs drive by, many with taxi topper ads on their roofs promoting events and products from Broadway shows to luxury apparel. However, approximately one in five of these ads promote strip clubs. Every day, 8.5 million New Yorkers plus commuters and tourists, who double Manhattan’s population on a daily basis, absorb publicity for Flash Dancers, New York Dolls and Private Eyes, three major strip clubs owned by the same proprietors. While legal across the U.S., strip clubs have clear links to commercial sexual exploitation and human trafficking, as pimps and sex traffickers provide these places with a ready supply of vulnerable women and girls. Investigations into trafficking and prostitution in New York City have recognized these connections, including when four New York strip clubs were named in a federal organized crime case that found trafficking in these sex establishments. This relationship between prostitution, the end goal of sex trafficking, and strip clubs is also clear to sex buyers. One Yelp reviewer commented that Flash Dancers is “basically an Eastern European brothel” and hundreds of interviews with sex buyers show that men know they can always find minor girls in strip clubs. Survivors of the sex trade testify that strip clubs and lap dance parlors act as launching pads to commercial sexual exploitation. Vednita Carter, founder and president of the survivor-led group Breaking Free, states that “stripping is a gateway into prostitution; it’s the place where the training begins.” Echoing those sentiments is Autumn Burris, who heads Survivors for Solutions, an organization she founded to foster survivor-led advocacy, leadership support and engagement. Both Ms. Carter and Ms. Burris were initiated into prostitution through strip clubs. They call on the public to demystify stripping as glamorous, harmless and empowering, and underline its links to trafficking, pornography and organized crime. “[S]trip clubs are closely related to sex trafficking and in many cases, if not most, is a form of sex trafficking,” Ms. Burris says. “For me, being on or off stage, scantily dressed, was a form of violence, humiliation, degradation and even torture.” New York City’s more than 13,000 taxis make over 400,000 trips throughout the city every day and around 600,000 people a day opt to take a cab. The Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) licenses and regulates New York City’s medallion taxicabs and other for-hire vehicles. The TLC also decides City policy regarding these vehicles and their drivers. Recognizing that taxi drivers can encounter situations of trafficking on the job, the TLC instituted a sex trafficking awareness and prevention program for all of its licensed drivers in 2012. Ironically, while the TLC calls on its drivers to recognize signs of sex trafficking, it allows strip club ads to promote the sexual exploitation of women and girls on taxi rooftops. The TLC must remove these ads from yellow cabs. The TLC’s influence on New York’s taxi landscape is extensive, including its ability to decide whether advertisements on taxis violate community standards. Given the evidence showing how strip clubs are part and parcel of the multi-billion dollar exploitative global sex trade, the TLC needs to recognize that publicizing them on yellow cabs run contrary to the principles of human rights that New York City holds dear. New York City values its taxis and also prides itself in ensuring equality for all women. This goal cannot be attained when the denigration, dehumanization and degradation of women are promoted on New York City’s yellow taxis every day. Please join the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women as we urge the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission to remove taxi topper ads promoting strip clubs from the City’s yellow cabs. Tell TLC Chair Meera Joshi that the City of New York values the human rights principles of equality and dignity for all, and that it will not tolerate publicity on its taxis for establishments linked to commercial sexual exploitation, violence against women and human trafficking. ____________________________________________________________ Further Reading Yellow Cabs and Strip Clubs: New York Sells Inequality by Taina Bien-Aimé, Huffington Post Inside Sin City: The Bronx Strip Club Where Anything Goes by Byron Smith, Ben Kochman and Graham Rayman, New York Daily News
Vote NO to Decriminalizing Pimps, Brothel Owners, and Buyers of Sex.
Nearly a year after Amnesty International’s International Council released a proposal on prostitution, which it calls “sex work,” the organization’s International Board issued its global policy calling on governments to decriminalize pimping, brothel-owning and sex-buying. As of May 26, 2016, Amnesty has officially adopted a framework that will shape its advocacy to stand with exploiters, not the exploited. CATW, along with survivors of the sex trade and other women’s rights and human rights activists, will continue to urge Amnesty to reevaluate its policy. We maintain that this decision to legitimize the sex trade is a gross violation of human rights principles and international conventions. As we continue to oppose this devastating move, this petition will remain active until we succeed in reversing Amnesty’s policy to decriminalize the sex trade. Please continue to sign and share widely! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- At its International Council Meeting to be held in Dublin, from 7–11 August 2015, Amnesty International will reportedly review an internal circular entitled “Draft Policy on Sex Work,” which endorses the full decriminalization of the sex industry, including the legalization of pimping, brothel owning and the buying of sex. Medical professionals, the testimonies of survivors and extensive research all demonstrate that the sex industry is predicated on dehumanization, degradation and gender violence that can cause life-long physical and psychological harm to those exploited at the hands of pimps, traffickers and buyers of sex (or “johns”). Prostitution is a harmful practice steeped in gender and economic inequalities that leaves a devastating impact on those sold and exploited in the sex trade. Please add your signature to this open letter, signed by more than 600 national and international women's rights groups, leading survivors of the sex trade, human rights advocates, medical doctors, Hollywood actors and directors, fashion designers, faith-based leaders and concerned individuals from over 30 countries, urging Amnesty International not to adopt any policy that supports the full decriminalization of the sex industry. This would, in effect, strengthen the pillars of a multi-billion dollar industry that preys on the most marginalized and vulnerable populations for commercial sexual exploitation. The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) firmly believes and agrees with Amnesty that human beings bought and sold in the sex trade, who are mostly women, must not be criminalized in any jurisdiction by law enforcement or governments. However, what Amnesty’s “Draft Policy on Sex Work” proposes is in violation of long established human rights principles, and women’s rights in particular, including the right to live a life free of violence and with dignity. Please join the signers of this petition and signal to Amnesty International that we must hold accountable those who prey on vulnerable individuals with histories of poverty, homelessness and sexual abuse and ensure that everyone has the fundamental right not to be bought and sold. The signatories of the open letter to Amnesty International are: Magdy Abdel-Hamid, Egyptian Association For Community Participation Enhancement, Egypt Tahira Abdulla, Pakistan Peter Abetz MLA, Parliament of Western Australia, Australia Trudee Able-Peterson, USA Abolicionistas Autoconvocadas por Facebook, Argentina Morton Abromson, USA Action Against Violence and Exploitation (ACTIVE), Philippines Adopt Nordic WA, Australia Esohe Aghatise, PhD, Anti-Trafficking Programmes Manager Worldwide, Equality Now Ijose Aghatise, Programmes Director, Associazione Iroko Onlus, Italy Mohammed Ali, Human Rights Activist and Board Member, Feminist Initiative Oslo, Norway Leila El Ali, Executive Director, Association Najdeh (member of IFE-EFI), Lebanon Coralie Alison, National Director of Operations, Collective Shout, Australia Nancy Allen, Human Trafficking Freedom Coalition, USA Benedict Alnaes, Human Rights Activist and Board Member, Feminist Initiative Oslo, Norway Rev. Dr. Cheryl Anthony, Judah International, USA APT (Act to Prevent Trafficking), Ireland Martha Lucía Arcila A. Mirela Arqimandriti, Executive Director, Gender Alliance for Development Center, Albania Roxana Arroyo, President, Fundación Justicia y Género, Costa Rica Arte Itinerante, Argentina Billy B. Ashby, USA Asociación Civil Casa del Encuentro, Argentina Asociación Civil Generar - Santa Fé, Argentina de Lucha por la Identidad Travesti y Transexual (ALITT), Argentina Asociación. de Mujeres Argentinas por los DDHH (AMADH CABA) , Argentina Asociación. de Mujeres Argentinas por los DDHH ( AMADH Santa Fe), Argentina Asociación. de Mujeres Argentinas por los DDHH (AMADH –Tucuman), Argentina Muriel Salmona, Doctor of Psychiatry, President, and Judith Trinquart, Doctor of Legal Medicine, General Secretary, Association Mémoire Traumatique et Victimologie, France Gertrud Åström, President, Hela HUT AB, Sweden Holly G. Atkinson, M.D., FACP, Director, Human Rights Program, Arnhold Global Health Institute at Mount Sinai, USA Colleen Atwood, USA Élaine Audet, Writer and Editor, Sisyphe.org, Canada Seher Aydar, Leader, Anti-racism Center, Oslo, Norway Jackie Aziz, Secretary to Director of Mission, St. Joseph’s Hospice, UK Bagong Kamalayan Survivors’ Collective, The Philippines Laure Banks, Greater Allen Cathedral, USA Trisha Baptie, Founding Member and Community Engagement Coordinator, EVE (formerly Exploited Voices now Educating), Canada Christine Baranski, USA Barbara Bares, USA Dra. Dora Barrancos, Director, CONICET- Argentina, Argentina Angela Bassett, USA Hélène Bédard, La Maison de Marthe, Canada Cynthia Bellinger, Restoring Our Community Media Arts Network, USA Sarah Benson, CEO, Ruhama, Ireland Samantha Berg, Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF), USA Stina Bergsten, Founder and Board Member, Feminist Initiative Party Oslo, Norway Lohana Berkins, Asociación de Lucha por la Identidad Travesti y Transexual (ALITT), Argentina Taina Bien-Aimé, Executive Director, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – International, USA Julie Bindel, Journalist and Feminist Campaigner, Board Member, SPACE International, UK Collette N. Bishop, MSW, The Organization for Prostitution Survivors (OPS) and Seattle Therapy Alliance (STA), USA Aud Karin Bjørn, Executive Committee Member and Board Member, The Women's Front of Norway, Norway Selma Blair, USA Emily Blunt, UK Susan Bolotin, USA Anne Bonfiglio, Executive Director, Partnership for Student Advancement, USA Valerie Borja, UP Bukluran sa Sikolohiyang Philipino, Philippines Helle Borgen, Feminist Spokesperson and Vice President, Red Party of Norway, Norway Lise Bouvet, Collectif Resources Prostitution, France Debra Boyer, PhD, Executive Director, Organization for Prostitution Survivors, USA Consolata Boyle, Ireland Sandra Boynton, USA Jane Bradley, USA Mar Brettmann, PhD, Executive Director, BEST (Businesses Ending Slavery & Trafficking), USA Sally Ann Brickner, OSF, Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Coordinator, Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes, USA Jimmie Briggs, Founding Executive Director, ManUp Campaign, and Current Executive Director, LOVE (Leave Out Violence), USA Tina Brown, UK/USA Dana Buchman, USA Ted Bunch, Co-Founder, A CALL TO MEN, USA Judith Buckman, South Jersey National Organization for Women (NOW) – Alice Paul Chapter, USA Susie Tomkins Buell, USA Jennifer and Peter Buffett, Co-Presidents, NoVo Foundation, USA BUKLOD Survivors – Olongapo, The Philippines Francesca Burack, Enterprising and Professional Women – NYC (EPW-NYC), USA Autumn Burris, Founding Director, Survivors for Solutions, USA Twiss Butler, USA Rev. William Caban, Templo Candelero de Oro Lydia Cacho, Author and Activist; Winner – Amnesty International Human Rights Award (2008), Amnesty International U.S.A Ginetta Sagan Award (2009) and Women of the World Thompson Reuters Award for Bravery in Journalism (2012), Mexico Laure Caille, General Secretary, Libres MarianneS (LMS), France Campaign to End Rape and Truth About Rape, UK Pilar Gonzalez Cano, Member, RENATE (Religious in Europe Networking Against Trafficking & Exploitation), Spain Micheline Carrier, Editor, Sisyphe.org, Canada Rev. Dr. Michael Carrion, Evangelical Covenant Church and National Latino Evangelical Coalition, USA Vednita Carter, Founder and President, Breaking Free, Inc., USA Phoebe Cates-Kline, USA CEDAW Watch, The Philippines Michelle Chapman, Youthful Solutions Kristy Childs, Founder and Executive Directo, Veronica's Voice, Inc., USA Luce Cloutier, Anthropologist and Consultant, Canada Graciela Collantes, Asoc. de Mujeres Argentinas por los DDHH (AMADH CABA), Argentina Margaux Collet, Osez le féminisme!, France Rebekah Contarino, Founder and Executive Director, Love True, USA John Converset, Director, Office of JPIC, North American Province, Comboni Missionaries, USA Carrie Coon, USA Chris Cooper, USA Marianne Cooper, USA Cooperativa Nadia Echazú, Argentina Nora Cortiñas, Madre de Plaza de Mayo, Línea Fundadora, Argentina Lawrence Couch, Director, National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, USA Ziba Cranmer, Executive Director, Demand Abolition, USA Sr. Colette Cronin, The Institute of Our Lady of Mercy, UK Michael Cunningham, USA Hugh Dancy, UK Claire Danes, USA Rev. Adrian Dannhauser, Chair, Task Force Against Human Trafficking for the Episcopal Diocese of New York, USA Edwidge Danticat, Haiti/USA Wendy Davis, Director, Rooms of our Own, UK Sr. Joan Dawber, SC, Executive Director, LifeWay Network, USA Michèle Dayras, SOS Sexisme, France Sr. Lynda Dearlove rsm, women@thewell, UK Elizabeth F. Defeis, Professor of Law, Seton Hall School of Law, USA Dr. Stephen M. De Luca, Esq., Chairman, Legislative/Policy Committee, NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking, USA Jonathan Demme, USA Michelle Madden Dempsey, Professor of Law, Villanova University School of Law, USA Grace Hightower De Niro, USA Monique Dental, Founding President, Réseau Féministe “Ruptures”, France Claire Desaint, Vice President, Association Réussir l'égalité Femmes-Hommes (REFH), France Fatoumata Siré Diakité, Executive Director, Association pour le Développement de la Femme and ACTPEW, Mali Casandra Diamond, Survivor and Founder, BridgeNorth, USA Danny Diaz, Love Gospel Assembly, USA Rossana Dimarca, Member of Parliament and Feminist Spokesperson, Swedish Left Party, Sweden Anjilee Dodge, MSW Candidate, USA Winifred Doherty, Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, Worldwide Domestic Violence Advocacy Service, Ireland Robert Douglas, SCO, USA Catherine J. Douglass, USA Jennifer Drew, Consultant, Scottish Women Against Pornography, UK Geneviève Duché, President, l’Amicale du Nid, France Rose Dufour Ph.D., Anthropologist and Executive Director, La Maison de Marthe, Canada Martin Dufresne, Zéromacho Québec, Canada Jaha Dukureh, Founder and Executive Director, Safe Hands for Girls, USA/The Gambia Dr. Lynette Dumble, Founder and Director of the Global Sisterhood Network, Medical and Environmental Scientist Lena Dunham, USA Raymonde Dussault, France Linda Emond, USA EMMA Magazine, Germany Diane English, USA Rev. Que English, NYC Faith-Based Coalition Against Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence, USA Rev. Tim English, Bronx Christian Fellowship, USA Mary Enright, DMJ, USA Jean Enriquez, Executive Director, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Asia Pacific (CATW-AP), The Philippines Eve Ensler, Playwright and Founder, V-Day, USA Equal Pay Campaign, USA European Women’s Lobby – French Chapter, France Matthew B. Ezzell, PhD, Associate Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology & Anthropology, James Madison University, USA Alda Facio, Expert Member on L.A.C., Working Group on the Issue of Discrimination Against Women, Human Rights Council, Costa Rica Madge Fahy, Social Questions Committee,, Catholic Women's League of Victoria and Wagga Wagga, Australia Natasha Falle, Sex Trade 101, Canada Melissa Farley, Ph.D., Executive Director, Prostitution Research & Education, USA Fédération Nationale Solidarité Femmes, France Feminism in London, UK Rev. Grant Finlay, Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) Tasmania, Australia Anna Fisher, UK Catherine A. Fitzpatrick, Writer and Translator, USA Mark Flynn, Christ United Methodist Church, USA Marie-Hélène Franjou, Public Health Doctor, France Margot Franssen, OC, Co-Chair, National Task Force on Sex Trafficking of Canadian Women and Girls, Canada Pierre Fritsch, France Paulo Fuller, The Philippines Elizabeth Gabler, President, Fox 2000, USA Sr. M. Cordis Ganslmeier, Sisters of Our Lady of CharityProvinzleiterin, Germany/Albania Lauren Gallo-White, USA Kate Ganz, USA Pat Gartlan, Nordic Model Australia Coalition (NorMAC) and Amnesty International Australia, Australia Henry Louis Gates, Jr., USA Mariam Garuba, M.D., USA Sarah Gavron, UK Glendyne Gerrard, Director, Defend Dignity, Canada Julia Geynisman, M.D., Founder, Survivor Clinic, and Obstetrics and Gynecology, New York Presbyterian – Weill Cornell Med Center, USA Myani Gilbert, Master of Social Work Student, University of Washington, USA Cheryl Glover, Union Grove Missionary Baptist Church, USA Molly Gochman, Stardust Fund, USA Karenna Gore, Director, Center for Earth Ethics, Union Theological Seminary, USA Margeaux Gray, Survivor Advocate, Motivational Speaker, Artist, National Survivor Network, USA Sr. Margaret Gonzi, Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, Malta Aneta Grabowska and Mary Grey, RENATE (Religious in Europe Networking Against Trafficking & Exploitation), Poland Catríona Graham, Anti-Trafficking Awareness Officer, Immigrant Council of Ireland, Ireland Diane Guilbault, Vice President, Pour les droits des femmes du Québec (PDF Québec), Canada Ruchira Gupta, Founder and President, Apne Aap Women Worldwide, and Professor, New York University, India Lynda Haddock, UK Susan McCormick Hadley, SEWA, USA Rev. Kate Haggar, Minister of Religion, Australia Marie Hélène Halligon, OLCGS, Main Representative for Congregation of Our Lady Charity of the Good Shepherd, Good Shepherd International Justice and Peace Office (Vienna) and Core Member, RENATE (Religious in Europe Networking Against Trafficking and Exploitation), France Lilian Halls-French, Co-President, Euromed Feminist Initiative IFE-EFI, France Jalna Hanmer, UK Ingrid Halvorsen, Human Rights Activist and Board Member, The Women's Front of Norway, Norway Marcia Gay Harden, USA Rev. Maria Harrero, His Grace Fellowship, USA Yasmeen Hassan, Global Director, Equality Now, Worldwide Anne Hathaway, USA Dr. Anita Heiliger, Sociologist, Gender Studies/Violence Prevention, KOFRA (Communication Center for Women in Work and Life) and Initiative Stop Sexkauf, Germany Ed Heisler, Men As Peacemakers, USA Rev. Dr. Peter Heltzel, Micah Institute, USA Rosen Hicher, Survivor and Abolitionist Activist, Marche Pour L’Abolition, France Adriane Hill, New York Theological Seminary, USA Kaethe Morris Hoffer, Executive Director, Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, USA Lisa Hofflich, President, Westchester NOW, USA Matthew Holloway - BSocSc (Couns), Secretary, Nordic Model Australia Coalition (NorMAC) Maria Holly, SHJM, Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mark, UK Wiveca Holst, Roks, Sweden Ingrid Hörnebo, Advisor, Norwegian Parliament, and Representative, The Norwegian Socialist Left Party, Norway Winnie Holtzman, USA Vivian Huelgo, Chief Counsel, ABA Task Force on Human Trafficking, USA Klein Huhuette, France Ambassador Swanee Hunt, Founder and Chair, Hunt Alternatives, USA Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence, USA R. Evon Idahosa, Esq., Founder/Executive Director, PathFinders Justice Initiative, Inc., USA/Nigeria Gerald Imperial, The Philippines Ashley Byrd, Carolyn Carney, Calvin Chan, Cristina Chapelle, Emily Craig, Tim Craig, Daniela Lancara, Ashish Mathew, R. York Moore, and Douglas Paillere, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, USA Irish Countrywomen’s Association, Ireland Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, Ireland Katie Irwin, NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking, USA Neil Irwin, Executive Director, Men Can Stop Rape, USA Ghada Jabbour, Co-Founding Member and Head of the Exploitation & Trafficking in Women Unit, KAFA (enough) Violence & Exploitation, Lebanon Margarita Jankauskaitė, Center for Equality Advancement, Lithuania Aurora Javate-de Dios, Board Chair, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – International, The Philippines Rodrigo Jiménez, Co-Director, Women, Gender and Justice Program, United Nations Latin American Institute for Crime Prevention, Costa Rica Lone Alice Johansen, Senior Advisor, Secretariat of the Shelter Movement Norway, Norway Sarah Jones, USA Guðrún Jónsdóttir, Spokeswoman, Stígamóta, Iceland Boriana Jönsson, Euromed Feminist Initiative IFE-EFI, France Rev. Dr. Emma Jordan-Simpson, Concord Baptist Church, USA Daisy Z. Alvarez Juarez, Venezuela Lyne Jubinville, Computer Science Professional and Treasurer, Pour les droits des femmes du Québec (PDF Québec), Canada Ashley Judd, USA Borbala Juhász, Hungarian Women’s Lobby, Hungary Jennifer Kay, Sex Trafficking Survivors United, USA Miyuki Kawachi, University of the Philippines, The Philippines Anne Kelleher, Communications, RENATE (Religious in Europe Networking Against Trafficking and Exploitation), Ireland Constance Kennedy, CSJ, Co-Chair of Coalition, Religious Congregations - to Stop Human Trafficking (CRC-STOP), Social Justice Committee, Congregation of St. Joseph, USA Alika Kinan, Trafficking Survivor and President, Instituto de Género Sapa Kippa, Argentina Dr. Renate Klein, FINRRAGE (Australia) and Amnesty International Australia QLD Branch Member, Australia Inge Kleine, Abolish Prostitution Now and Abolition 2014, Germany Greta Kline, USA Kevin Kline, USA Owen Kline, USA Hon. Judy Harris Kluger, Executive Director, Sanctuary for Families, USA Suzanne Koepplinger, USA Rita Kohli, Tools for Change, Canada Jenni Konner, USA Tali Koral, Machon Toda'a, Israel Dr. Ingeborg Kraus, Scientists for a World Without Prostitution, Germany Cathrine Linn Kristiansen, First Name, Feminist Initiative Oslo, and Board Member, The Women's Front of Norway, Norway Lisa Kudrow, USA Iluta Lace, Director, Marta Resource Centre for Women, Latvia Brigitte Lacombe, France Yeun Lagadeuc-Ygouf, France Lee Lakeman, Canada Barbara Arminio La Mort, Benedictine Academy, USA Gara LaMarche, USA Felicity Langton, Chair, Collective Shout, Australia Kylla Lanier, Deputy Director, Truckers Against Trafficking, USA Imam Khalid Latif, The Islamic Center at New York University, USA Sr. Hannah Rita Laue OP, Dominican Sisters of Bethany, Sv. Jazepa klosteris, Latvia Rabbi Levi D. Lauer, Founding Executive Director, ATZUM Lawig Bubai Survivors Organization, Philippines Aye Sithu Htun (a) Mary Eunan Lawrence, Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd Annette Lawson OBE, Chair, The Judith Trust, Immediate Past Chair, National Alliance of Women’s Organisations (NAWO), UK The Lebanese Women Democratic Gathering (RDFL), Lebanon Simone LeConte-Parker, Berean Community and Family Life Center, USA Catherine Lee, Founder, Justice for Women program at University Maine School of Law, and Managing Director, Lee International, Climate Change Advisory Services, USA Jimmy Lee, Executive Director, Restore NYC, USA Dorchen A. Leidholdt, Co-Chair, New York State Anti-Trafficking Coalition, USA Leila Lesbet, Women’s Rights Activist, Special Education Technician, Canada Hannah Hartman and Dylan Walker, Let My People Go, USA Dr. Helen Liebling, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology/Associate of African Studies Centre, Coventry University, UK Martha Linehan, IMT, CDP, Organization for Prostitution Survivors (OPS), USA Laura Linney, USA Phyllida Lloyd, UK Rachel Lloyd, Founder/CEO, GEMS, USA Marta López, Designada Regional para América Latina y el Caribe-OIJPBP, Congregación Nuestra Señora de la Caridad del Buen Pastor Fernanda Gil Lozano, Diputada Nacional (MC), Argentina Shelia Lynch, Daughters of Mary and Joseph, California, USA Angela Lytle, Executive Director, Women’s Human Rights Institute, Center for Women Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Canada Isla MacGregor, Whistleblowers Tasmania, Nordic Model Australia Coalition (NorMac), Australia Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, Founder and Board Member, Embrace Dignity, South Africa Diana Maffía, Legisladora (MC), Argentina Aïssata Maïga, Project Coordinator, Institute for Security & Development Policy, Sweden Manchester Feminist Network, UK María Alejandra Mángano, Coordinator, Procuradudría de Trata y Explotación de Personas del Ministerio Público Fiscal, Argentina Valerie Marchese, USA Elizabeth Margoshes, USA JoAnn Mark, ASC, Executive Director, Partnership for Global Justice, USA Stella Marr, Sex Trafficking Survivors United, USA Margaret Martin, Director, Women's Aid, Ireland Micheline Mason, UK Maureen Master, Lawyer and Graduate Student researching Prostitution, MSt Programme in International Human Rights Law, University of Oxford, UK Josua Mata, Secretary-General, SENTRO (Workers’ Center), The Philippines Ane Mathieson, MSW Candidate, 2012-2013 Fulbright Fellow, USA Nicole Matthews, Executive Director, Minnesota Indian Women's Sexual Assault Coalition, USA Jacques Mattinette, La Maison de Marthe, Canada Stacey McCaig Sr. Ethna McDermott, Province Leader for Ireland, Congregation of our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, Ireland Maureen McGowan, rgs, HandCrafting Justice, Inc., USA Síle McGowan HFB, Religious Institute of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Bordeaux, Member, APT Ireland (Act to Prevent Trafficking Ireland), Ireland Karen McHugh, CEO, Doras Luimni, Ireland Marianne McKenna, Canada Louise McLeod, Women Graduates-USA, USA Sarah McMahon, Psychologist and Founder, BodyMatters Australasia, Australia Sandra McNeill, Justice for Women, UK Jane McVeigh, USA Cecilia Merchán, Diputada Nacional (MC), Argentina Clarissa Militante, Philippines Kelly Miller, Executive Dirctor, Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence, USA Jessica Minhas, Founder and CEO, I'll Go First, USA Asunción Miura, Spain Rev. Gil Monrose, Mt. Zion Church of God 7th Day, USA Florence Montreynaud, Encore féministes!, France Rachel Moran, Author and Co-Founder, SPACE International, Ireland Michele Morek, OSU, Coalition Coordinator, UNANIMA International, USA Robin Morgan, The Sisterhood is Global Institute, USA Laura Morie, Certified Senior Advisor, Rotary District 5370 Canada, Governor Elect, Canada Johanne Morneau, La Maison de Marthe, Canada Stacey Morse, USA Joe Motley, USA Marianne Mouchikhine, Member, Collctif Libertaire Anti Sexiste (CLAS), France Carey Mulligan, UK Belinda Munoz, USA Meghan Murphy, Feminist Current, Canada Gail Mutrux, USA María Elena Naddeo, Legisladora (MC), Argentina Jonathan Nambu, The Philippines Andrea Salwen Kopel, Executive Director; Maria Mostajo, President; Pamela Kling Takiff, Advocacy Leadership Chair, National Council of Jewish Women New York Section (NCJW NY), USA National Council of Jewish Women, USA Chris Troy and Danelia, NY CityServe, USA Sr. Taskila Nicholas, Opportunity Village Nepal, Nepal Ana Maria R. Nemenzo, International Committee Member, World March of Women, Philippines, The Philippines Lene Nilsen, Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombudsman and Board Member, Feminist Initiative Oslo, Norway Joan Nissman, USA Clare Nolan, Good Shepherd International Justice Peace Training Facilitator, Sisters of the Good Shepherd, USA Beverly Cooper Neufeld, PowHer NY, USA Leonor Nuñez, Member, Asamblea Permanente por los Derechos Humanos (APDH), Argentina Torill Nustad, Executive Committee and Board Member, The Women's Front of Norway, Norway Klarissa Oh, Executive Director, OAASIS (Oregon Abuse Advocates and Survivors in Service) Jodeen Olguín-Tayler, Vice President of Policy and Partnerships, Demos, USA Marcia Olivo, Director of Programs, Miami Workers Center Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop, CEO, Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, Ireland Terry O'Neill, National Organization for Women, USA The Organization for Prostitution Survivors, USA Susan Orlean, USA Sonia Ossorio, President, NOW-NYC/NOW-NYS, USA Lise Østby, Senior Advisor, The Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs, Norway Hannah Pakula, USA Clydie Pasia, The Philippines Mandy Patinkin, USA Pavee Point, Ireland Margarita Peralta, Moreno, Prov. de Bs. As., Asoc. de Mujeres Argentinas por los DDHH, Argentina Michelle Pernini, USA Dr. Alexandra (Sandi) Pierce, Survivor and President, Othayonih Research, USA Judith Pillsbury, France Kat Pinder, Survivor Activist and Amnesty International Australia, QLD Branch Committee Member, Australia Maudy Piot, President, Association Femmes pour le Dire, Femmes pour Agir, France Kent R. Pipes, President, The Affordable Homes Group, Inc., USA Imelda Poole, President, Mary Ward Loreto Foundation, and President, RENATE (Religious in Europe Networking Against Trafficking and Exploitation), Albania Dianne Post, Attorney, USA Carol Pregno RGS, Province Leader, Central South US Province, Sisters of the Good Shepherd, USA Caroline Price, rgs, Social Justice Coordinator, Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, Australia/New Zealand Pierre-Guillaume Prigent, France Anna Quindlen, USA The Rev. Alison J. Quin, Christ the King Episcopal Church, USA The RadFem Collective, UK Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre, Sligo, Leitrim & West Cavan, Ireland Jody Raphael, Schiller DuCanto & Fleck Family Law Center, DePaul University College of Law, USA Janice G. Raymond, Professor Emerita, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA Anne Ream, Voices and Faces, USA Theresa Rebeck, USA Diane Redsky, Executive Director, Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre, Inc., and Former Project Director, National Task Force of Sex Trafficking of Women and Girls in Canada, Canada Red Youth, Norway Rev. Llloyd Reid Jr, Greater Mt. Bethel Pentecostal Tabernacle, USA RENEW Foundation, The Philippines Jorunn Friis Reset, Secretary, The Women's Front of Norway, Norway Resist Porn Culture, UK Chiara Carpita and Ilaria Baldini, Resistenza Femminista, Italy Lina Alvarez Reyes, Founder, Feminist Initiative Youth Norway Board Member, Feminist Initiative Oslo Shea M. Rhodes, Director, Villanova University School of Law Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation, USA Lesley Rimmel, Core Faculty Member, Gender and Women's Studies Program, Oklahoma State University, USA Rev. Dr. Raymond Rivera, Latino Pastoral Action Center, USA Amy Robinson, USA Marcela Virginia Rodríguez, Diputada Nacional (MC), Argentina Artika Roller, Women and Children’s Program Director, Women's Advocates, USA Kathleen Romine, Member and Board of Directors, Women's Empowerment International, Co-Liaison for Via and the ESTIMA Project, USA Caitlin Roper, Campaigns Manager, Collective Shout, Australia Janica Rosales, The Philippines Lynn Rosenthal, Former White House Advisor on Violence Against Women, USA Anne Rothing, Women's Rights Activist and Board Member, The Women's Front of Norway, Norway Cristina Ruiz, Survivor, Asoc. Nacional Abolicionista Quilmes, Prov. de Bs. As., Argentina Deborah Rush, USA Karin D. Ryan, Senior Policy Advisor for Human Rights, The Carter Center, USA Malika Saada Saar, Executive Director, Human Rights Project for Girls (Rights4Girls), USA Rev. Raleigh Sadler, Missionary Baptist, Worldwide Mary Salter, USA Samaritana Transformation Ministries, The Philippines Dr. Corrine Sanchez, Executive Director, Tewa Women United, USA Sonia Sánchez, Author and Survivor Activist, Columbia Rev. Addie Sanders-Banks, The Groundswell Group, USA Sanlaap, India Jeanne Sarson and Linda MacDonald, Persons Against Non-State Torture, Canada Lynn Savarese, USA Viktoria Saxby, Political Advisor, The Center Women of Sweden, Sweden Marjorie F. Saylor, Survivor, Survivor Leader Network of San Diego (SLNSD) and Runaway Girl, Inc., S.M.E., USA Jean Schafer, Co-Director, SDS Hope House, Inc., USA Deborah Schatz, National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County Section, USA Kay Asbjørn Knutsen Schjørlien, Writer, Feminist and Representative, Norwegian Socialist Left Party in Oslo, Norway Madeleine Schultz, Author, Journalist and Human Rights Activist, Norway Alice Schwarzer, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, EMMA Magazine, Germany The Hon. Dr Jocelynne A. Scutt, Barrister and Human Rights Lawyer, Visiting Professor and Senior Fellow, United Kingdom, United States & Australia, Australia Kyra Sedgwick, USA Susan M. Seeby, CSA, General Councilor, Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes, USA Barbara Seidle, Founder, The Hannah More Project, USA SENTRO-Women, Philippines Bonnie Shapiro, Northern New Jersey Chapter of National Organization for Women (NOW), USA Dawn Shaw, Secretary, Social Questions Committee, Catholic Women's League of Victoria and Wagga Wagga, Australia Rameen N. Sheikh, President, Red Youth Oslo, Norway Pamela Shifman, Executive Director, NoVo Foundation, USA Louise Shohet, USA Line Schou, Founder and Board Member, Feminist Initiative Party Oslo, Norway Shanta Shrestha, Beyond Beijing Committee, Nepal Dr. Carla Sinz, USA Michèle Sirois, Présidente, Pour les droits des femmes du Québec (PDF Québec), Canada Sisters of the Holy Family of Bordeaux, Ireland Daisy Elizabeth Sjursø, Executive Committee Member and Board Member, The Women's Front of Norway, Norway Tina Skotnes, Executive Committee Member and Board Member, The Women's Front of Norway, Norway Susan L. Smalley, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, UCLA and Board Member, Equality Now, USA Cherry Smiley, Indigenous Women Against the Sex Industry (IWASI), Canada Liz Smith, Australia Eris Smyth, Australia Pastor Michelle Soto, Fierce Woman Found Ministries, Inc, USA Hannah Sorkin, USA Space Allies, Japan Srabani Sarkar Neogi, South Kolkata Hamari Muskan, India Johanne St-Amour, Canada Kestia St Juste, Kay’s Music Studios LLC, USA Gloria Steinem, USA Rev. Penny Stephens, Chaplain, St. Joseph’s Hospice, UK Major Katie Stoops, Salvation Army, USA Mgr. ThLic. Blanka Stráníková and Klára Marie Stráníková, Czech Republic Meryl Streep, USA Katarina Storalm, Women’s Rights Activist and Leader, Ottar, Norway Agnete Strøm, Human Rights Activist and Board Member, The Women’s Front of Norway, Norway Rose Styron, USA Susanna Styron, USA Maria Svensson, Acting Chairwoman, Feminist Initiative, Sweden Gwénola Sueur, General Secretary, SOS les Mamans, France Annie Sugier, Présidente, Ligue du Droit International des Femmes (LDIF), France Fumi Suzuki, Japan Theresa Symons, Good Shepherd Services, Malaysia Lucy S. Takagi, PsyD, USA Talikala, Philippines Lisa-Marie Taylor, Feminism in London and Resist Porn Culture Julie Taymor, USA Pil Teisbo, Executive Committee Member and Board Member, The Women's Front of Norway, Norway Donna Izzard and Jacqui Powell, The 3W Life, USA Charlize Theron, South Africa/USA Cheryl A. Thomas, Executive Director, Global Rights for Women, USA Emma Thompson, UK Anita Toner, President, Catholic Women’s League of Victoria and Wagga Wagga, Australia Patti Tototzintle, CEO, Casa de Esperanza, USA Karen Tronsgard-Scott, Executive Director Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, USA Silvana Turner, Member, Equipo Argentino Antropología Forense (EAAF), Argentina Meagan Tyler, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW)-Australia, Australia Rev. Naomi Tyler-Lloyd, Trinity Baptist Church Helen Uwangue, Iroko Charity Organisation, Nigeria Yasmin Vafa, Co-founder and Director of Law & Policy, Human Rights Project for Girls (Rights4Girls), USA Maria Narcisa Vicanco Valarezo, Spain Mélusine Vertelune, Member, Collectif Libertaire Anti-Sexiste, France Angelita Vesentini, Argentina Glòria Casas Vila, Plataforma Catalana pel Dret a No ser Prostituïdes, Spain Jonathan Walton, New York City Urban Project Director,InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and Director and Founder, the LoGOFF Movement, USA K. Shakira Washington, USA Alice Waters, USA Simone Watson, Prostitution Survivor and Director, Nordic Model Australia Coalition (NorMac), Australia David Wayne, Survivor Advocate, Hope Hollow Exploitation Victim Assistance and Consultation Services, and Member of National Survivor Network/ Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking, USA Sr. Barbara Wells, RGS, Sisters of the Good Shepherd, Toronto, ON, Canada Ali Wentworth, USA Karin Werkman, Institute for Feminism and Human Rights, Sweden Rebecca Whisnant, University of Dayton, USA Stephanie Wilkinson, UK Allison Williams, USA Bronwyn Williams, Member, Nordic Model Australia Coalition (NorMAC), Australia Rev. Jesse Williams, Convent Avenue Baptist Church, USA Rev. Roslyn Willis, Accepted Ministry, USA Debra Winger, USA Kate Winslet, UK Anna Wintour, UK/USA Women and Gender Institute, Miriam College, The Philippines WomanHealth, Philippines Shannon Wong, Orange County Legislator, USA Andrée Yanacopoulo, Board Member, Pour les droits des femmes du Québec (PDF Québec), Canada Theresa Yeh, Tapei Women's Rescue Foundation, Taiwan Jungsook "Grace" Yoon, Executive Director, Korean American Family Service Center (KAFSC), USA Youth and Students Advancing Gender Equality, India Youth and Students Advancing Gender Equality, The Philippines Teresa Ulloa Ziaurriz, Regional Director, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Latin America and the Caribbean, Mexico Monique Thiteux Altschul, Argentina Susana Chiarotti Boero, Argentina Raquel Disenfeld, Argentina Silvia Chejter, Argentina Fabiana Tuñez, Argentina Ada Beatriz Rico, Argentina Susana Pastor, Argentina Silvina Sierra, Argentina Nidia Kreig, Argentina Analia Sterli, Argentina Nora Pulido, Argentina Marta Vasallo, Argentina Cristina Zurutuza, Argentina Adriana García, Argentina Alicia Peresutti, Argentina Liliana Azaraf, Argentina Iris Graciela Vargas, Argentina Marcela D´Angelo, Argentina Viviana D´Angelo, Argentina Norma Chiapparrone , Argentina Elsa Cola Arena, Argentina Marta Fontenla, Argentina Margarita Bellotti, Argentina Perla Prigoshin , Argentina Claudia Kris, San Clemente, Prov. de Bs. As. , Argentina Chantal Stevens, Argentina Carmen Capdevila, Argentina Rocío Fernández Collazo, Argentina Sofía Margarita Rodríguez - Mendoza, Argentina Amabe Amalia Molinari, Argentina Eugenia Lara, Argentina Florencia Pastorella, Argentina Milena Pafundi, Argentina Valeria Junquera, Argentina Carlos Sterin, Argentina Sonia Knoll, Argentina Andrea Benítez, Argentina Lea Ágreda, Argentina Goyo Anchou, Argentina Alejandra Salgado, Argentina Marina Cefali, Argentina Florencia De Angelis, Argentina Pilar Moreno, Argentina Mayra Lucio, Argentina Mirta Fiorucci, Argentina Mónica Molina, Argentina Martha Rosenberg, Argentina Paula Sánchez, Argentina Cora Santandrea, Argentina Alejandra Barbich, Argentina Milena Borgognone, Argentina Camila López, Argentina Julia Levi, Argentina María Amelia Silva- Pastora Iglesia Metodista, Argentina Pablo Sosa- Pastor Iglesia Metodista, Argentina Mariana Palumbo, Argentina Asamblea de Mujeres V. 20 - Lugano, Argentina Asociación de Mujeres de Carreras Jurídicas, Argentina Asociación Nacional Abolicionista - Quilmes, Argentina Asociación Civil Nuestras Manos, Argentina Campaña Autogestiva contra el Abuso Sexual, Argentina Campaña Abolicionista Ciudad de Bs. As.: ATEM “25 de noviembre” , Argentina Campaña Abolicionista Neuquén, Argentina Campaña Abolicionista Provincia de Bs As, Argentina Campaña Abolicionista Santa Fé, Argentina Campaña Abolicionista Santa Rosa La Pampa, Argentina Campaña Abolicionista Tucumán, Argentina Campaña Abolicionista “Ni una mujer más víctima de las redes de prostitución,” Argentina CLADEM Argentina Colectiva Feminista Las Azucenas - La Plata, Argentina Cooperativa Nadia Echazú, Argentina Corriente Política y Social La Colectiva, Argentina Desobediencia y Felicidad, Argentina Espacio Alternativo , Argentina Feministas en Acción , Argentina Feministas Independientes, Argentina Feministas Independientes de la Ciudad de Bs As , Argentina Fundación Agenda de las Mujeres , Argentina Fundación Mujeres en Igualdad, Argentina Grupo Maleza, Argentina INSGENAR – Rosario, Pcia de Santa Fé, Argentina, Argentina Instituto de Género Sapa Kippa - Ushuaia, Argentina Las Liliith Feministas de Tucumán, Argentina Liberatorias, Argentina Librería de Mujeres , Argentina MTD Lucha y Libertad, Argentina Mujeres del Periódico El Espejo , Argentina Mujeres Libres, Argentina Mujeres por la solidaridad - Santa Rosa La Pampa, Argentina Mujeres de las Orillas - San Clemente Pcia. Bs.As., Argentina Seminario de DDHH con perspectiva de género Facultad de Filosofía y Letras UBA, Argentina Siluetazo contra los femicidios y las desapariciones de mujeres, Argentina Taller permanente de la Mujer, Argentina Pepita Guerra, Argentina ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Open Letter available in Spanish and French. On Twitter? Join @catwintl in putting the pressure on Amnesty using the hashtags #NoAmnesty4Pimps #VoteNO and #QuestionsForAmnesty ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Photo: Kenya - Survivor of Human Trafficking, Advocate, and New York New Abolitionist. Photo Credit: Lynn Savarese.
Take Responsibility for Wartime Crimes of Sexual Slavery and Human Trafficking: Remember the "Comfort Women"
Prior to and during World War II, Japan's Imperial Army established a system of brothels in its zones of combat specifically designed for military use, called "comfort stations." Women and girls as young as 13 years old were enticed, kidnapped or coerced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military and its designated agents. Historians estimate that as many as 200,000 women and girls throughout Asia and the Pacific, the majority from Korea, were trafficked into government-sponsored military brothels. These women and girls are euphemistically known as "comfort women." While other instances of wartime sexual slavery have occurred throughout history and still do today, post-war Japan continues to have difficulty admitting to Imperial Japan's role in what is deemed the most extensive case of government involvement in human trafficking. In 1993 Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yohei Kono, issued a statement, (the Kono Statement) recognizing that "the Japanese military was, directly or indirectly, involved in the establishment and management of the 'comfort stations' and the transfer of 'comfort women'." However, the Kono statement is perceived only as a partial apology because (1) it was not issued by the Prime Minister in his official capacity, (2) it did not fully recognize the magnitude of the crime, and (3) it offered no government reparations to survivors and families of "comfort women." Today, the Japanese government is in the process of erasing this chapter of its wartime history. Despite corroboration and verification from historians and the international community, including the United Nations, that Imperial Japan engaged in systematic, government-sanctioned human trafficking for the purposes of sexual servitude, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is intensifying efforts to whitewash the history of "comfort women." Abe and his political party are leading a campaign to revise textbooks in Japan and around the world to delete or dilute the sections on "comfort women." Abe's administration is also pressuring Japanese newspapers to retract their articles covering the subject and calling on foreign governments to remove references from official documents, as well as to destroy any memorials dedicated to the "comfort women." Members of Prime Minister Abe's ruling party have reportedly stated that acknowledging atrocities committed during WWII, particularly sexual slavery, would diminish Japan's honor and national pride. The government of Japan must take the opposite position. Honor is bestowed upon governments that recognize their role in perpetuating human rights violations and in fulfilling their responsibilities as members of the international community to work toward truth, democracy and equality for all. Today, there are fewer than fifty "comfort women" survivors, well into their eighties and nineties. They are still fighting for an official and unequivocal apology from the Japanese government. We must join them to ensure that the world will never forget the women and girls trafficked, raped, physically and emotionally abused, and maintained in an institutionalized system of sexual slavery by Imperial Japan. Justice must be served. Please sign this petition urging Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Japanese Government to: Immediately end any efforts to revise, remove, or request the removal of references to the history of the "comfort women" in Japanese and foreign textbooks, newspapers, historical records, and official United Nations and other government documents. Officially affirm that Japan's Imperial Army was engaged in systematic human trafficking for the sexual enslavement of women and girls in WWII military "comfort stations" and call for prosecution of the perpetrators. Affirmatively and unequivocally apologize to the survivors and the bereaved families and accept historical responsibility for this institutionalized sexual slavery. To view this peition in Korean, please click here.