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Petitioning Amnesty International

Join Former President Jimmy Carter in an appeal to Amnesty International

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Amnesty International (AI) has long been a respected voice advancing the cause of human rights. It has actively assisted victims of human rights violations for more than 30 years and its members are committed to promote the greater realization of human rights in every corner of the globe.

Currently AI is in the process of considering adoption of a policy paper that calls for the legalization of prostitution globally.

Former President Jimmy Carter and The Carter Center urge AI to consider carefully human rights concerns that arise with the legalization of prostitution. Former President Carter has spoken out on this issue asserting that all forms of commercial sexual exploitation are a profound violation of human rights. He also wrote an open letter to AI Secretary General Salil Shetty in 2014, urging the rejection of the legalization proposal. 

The record is clear: wherever prostitution has been legalized, the result is more exploitation and abuse, not less. Alternatives to legalization exist, especially the so-called “Nordic Model”, based on efforts undertaken in Iceland, Norway and particularly Sweden as well as local jurisdictions in a number of other countries. The implementation of the Nordic Model has resulted in a decline in prostitution and trafficking, as well as the promotion of alternative livelihoods for people leaving prostitution.   

The comprehensive strategy at the heart of the Nordic Model consists of the following measures: (i) decriminalize behavior of the victims of exploitation; (ii) direct efforts and resources of law enforcement to concentrate on the buyers, pimps and profiteers; (iii) support robust public awareness campaigns about the fundamental human right to be protected against sexual exploitation and the harms to the individual and society caused by this form of violence; and (iv) develop and fund care and exit services for survivors. 

We urge all those concerned with the putting a halt to the expansion of human trafficking and exploitation of persons to join in a global effort to oppose legalization of prostitution and instead adopt the more effective alternative approach.

The Carter Center hosted The World Summit: End Sexual Exploitation 2025, on May 11-12, 2015. This event featured survivors and advocates who considered ways to stem the growing demand for ever younger victims of sex trafficking and prostitution and to support victims exploited by the sex industry. Discussants also noted that advocacy efforts are primarily focused on ending sex trafficking of minors, with relatively little attention being directed to the plight of adults. This may well be the result of the popular assumption that adults in prostitution participate voluntarily. However this distinction is erroneous, if not harmful, as the vast majority of prostituted persons enter the industry as minors.

We urge AI, its governing bodies and entire membership to reject forthrightly any proposals which call for or promote full legalization of prostitution. Instead, AI should remain at the vanguard of the human rights movement by recognizing that sexual exploitation is a serious violation of fundamental human rights. To do so, AI should join with others calling for the adoption of the Nordic Model to end sexual exploitation.

By signing this petition, you will be adding your voice to those of survivors as well as former President Jimmy Carter and the many others who are bravely challenging proponents oflegalized prostitution, including those who profit from the multi-billion dollar sex industry.

 

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    Karin Ryan needs your help with “Amnesty International: Stand Up for the Human Rights of Victims and Survivors of Sexual Exploitation--Support the Nordic Model, Not Legalization.”. Join Karin and 3,211 supporters today.