Petition update

Amnesty International Turns Its Back on Women

Coalition Against Trafficking in Women International (CATW)

Aug 14, 2015 — Earlier this week at its International Council Meeting in Dublin, Amnesty International passed a resolution that endorses the full decriminalization of the sex industry, including pimps, brothel owners and buyers of sexual acts. The world’s most recognized human rights organization will now encourage governments worldwide to adopt laws and policies that give license to exploit human beings — mostly women — for profit and for purchase of sexual acts with impunity.

This resolution is in direct violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international conventions, which Amnesty has committed to uphold as part of its mission. On Tuesday, CATW issued a statement in response to this decision.

The worldwide response to this decision has been swift and condemnatory, especially from survivors of the sex trade and women's rights organizations around the world, neither of which Amnesty consulted while developing its policy. Below are a few links to media and statements, including by French and Swedish officials:

On Point with Tom Ashbrook: What Decriminalizing Sex Work Would Mean (

New York Times: Amnesty International Votes for Policy Calling for Decriminalization of Prostitution (

tendance ouest: Dépénalisation de la prostitution et du proxénétisme : une "régression considérable" pour la députée Ameline (

Feminist Current: After Amnesty, what’s next? A call to action (

Other critical voices in the human rights and women’s rights movements also spoke out, including:

President Carter -

Prostitution Research & Education -

SPACE International -

Equality Now -

Leaders in the LGBTQ community -

This public and international outcry urging Amnesty to stand with the exploited rather than with their exploiters would not have happened without you. Your voice made a difference and continues to send the urgent message to Amnesty that turning its back on the most vulnerable individuals bought and sold in the sex trade is unacceptable.

This work is now more urgent than ever. If you would like to support CATW as it continues to ensure the rights of all women and girls are upheld, including by human rights organizations, please visit:

CATW sends its most profound thanks to the over 600 signatories of the Open Letter and to each and every one of you for your commitment to justice and equality.

Thank you.

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