SWAI is among 1,100 organisations, sex worker led and others, as well as individual sex workers and supporters from across the globe that support the draft resolution calling on Amnesty International to support the decriminalisation of sex work.
Sex Worker and ICRSE (International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe) Board Member Kate McGrew stated, ‘It is only with full decriminalisation that the rights of sex workers can be protected. Amnesty International’s focus is on the most marginalised and people at risk of grave human rights violations. Their own research over two years has shown that it is sex workers themselves who suffer most when working under a criminalised or partially criminalised system. We have seen human rights violations against sex workers across the world ignored time and time again. It is now time for policy makers and governments everywhere to listen. Criminalising sex work does not make it safer’.
In 2013 Ugly Mugs Ireland produced a report showing that 66.7% of sex workers surveyed had been a victim of crime whilst working in Ireland but did not report it to the police.
Sex Worker Maria stated, ‘The Ugly Mugs Report shows that sex workers in Ireland already have a mistrust of the police and are hesitant to report crime or seek their protection. Criminalisation makes this worse. How can we feel safe and free from violence when the police, supposed to protect us, are keeping us under surveillance and forcing us to work alone. We are telling the Minister for Justice and the Irish Government we sex workers do not want criminalisation, we want our human rights protected’.
If the resolution passes this week Amnesty International will join an ever increasing list of international organisations and bodies including UN AIDS, WHO, UN Women Human Rights Watch and medical journal The Lancet who have shown support for the decriminalisation of sex work for the health, safety and protection of workers