We are grateful for the public backing of our petition by every single one of you, and the many prominent feminists, women’s organizations, and politicians worldwide who have endorsed and promoted our cause. Thank you so much for your support so far! With your help, the campaign against Amnesty’s recent proposal incited enough public backlash for an online Q& A with Amnesty UK’s director. But we have yet a ways to go though: Amnesty International is still moving forward with their proposal for full decriminalization. And AI is also still maintaining that only its members will have final say in their global policy on prostitution - that is, they will only listen to the people and organizations that pay into their corporatized for-profit model! Several sources have also revealed that a pimp-led pro-prostitution lobby has been working towards passing this proposal from within Amnesty International’s ranks since as early as 2008. Our outrage and fears have been legitimized and confirmed. We must continue our fight! Help us get to 5000 signatures by March 8th - International Women’s day - so that we can present this petition to Amnesty UK’s head office!
Here’s what you can do now:
• Share this petition with your friends and family through email, facebook, and twitter. It is imperative to get the word out to everyone you know that cares about gender equality, indigenous rights, child abuse, and human trafficking. This is one of the most pressing human rights causes of our time [http://tyglobalist.org/onlinecontent/blogs/human-trafficking-in-canada/]. Your help is invaluable. We can’t stress this enough: Every share counts!
• Join the protest against Amnesty International on March 8th [http://abolishprostitutionnow.wordpress.com/2014/02/09/march-8th-protest-of-amnesty-international/]. Show your support in person if you can and meet fellow activists! You can RSVP to the Facebook event page for news and updates, even if you cannot attend in person [https://www.facebook.com/events/246732298841693/]. Show your solidarity!
• The European Union Parliament will vote this week on a bill that proposes the criminalization of demand for paid sex (i.e. the Mary Honeyball bill). Write your EU MEPs to vote yes on this bill! Click this link [http://www.access-info.org/documents/Access.../EU/MEP_email_addresses.xls] for a listing of all EU MEPs by country and party, with their email addresses.
• Tell the government of Canada that no human is for sale: that prioritizing and legislating for men’s “basic human need” for sex over the basic human rights of children and other prostituted persons (to economic equality, safety, and freedom from sexual exploitation and coercion) would be a move towards making rape culture legally incarnate. You can do this until March 17th, but why wait! Take 5 minutes today to have your say in future legislation that will affect all children and vulnerable persons at risk of commercial sexual exploitation. [http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/cons/curr-cours/proscons-conspros/index.html#2014_02_17]
• Send an email to Justice Minister Peter MacKay email@example.com or your local MP [http://www.parl.gc.ca/Parlinfo/Compilations/HouseofCommons/MemberByPostalCode.aspx?Menu=HOC]. Advocate for the Nordic model in Canada, which decriminalizes and provides social services for prostituted individuals, while criminalizing the demand that drives their sexual exploitation and trafficking.
• Join the protest online through #QuestionsForAmnesty on twitter [https://twitter.com/search?q=%23QuestionsForAmnesty&src=hash]. You can copy and paste any part of this email or petition to put pressure on Amnesty. It's also a great way to see and connect with other feminists through twitter!
• Donate through change.org to help promote this petition!
Timeline of events:
• January 23rd, 2014: Julie Bindel’s piece: “An abject Inversion of its own principles” goes viral [http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2544983/JULIE-BINDEL-An-abject-inversion-principles.html]
• January 30th, 2014: The Northern Ireland Assembly’s committee for justice meeting hears DUP member Jim Well's speak about how "leading English pimp, Douglas Fox, was a member of Amnesty who successfully passed a resolution at Amnesty’s AGM in 2008, calling for the organisation to campaign for legalised prostitution. 'So you allowed the largest pimp in the north west of England to have input into your policy document'" [article: http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/regional/stormont-witnesses-deny-links-to-pimps-1-5847318] [full transcript of assembly meeting: http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/Documents/Official-Reports/Justice/2013-2014/140130_HumanTraffickingetcBill%28AmnestyInternational%29.pdf]
• February 4th, 2014: Philip Bradfield publishes his article exposing prominent British pimp Douglas Fox’s involvement with the Amnesty proposal: “Yesterday, he confirmed he wrote a report in 2008, telling his supporters that Amnesty’s internal ‘violence against women campaign group’ was the key opposition to a legalisation policy, adding that he had ‘caused a rumpus’ at their AGM stall. He confirmed that in the 2008 report, he asked his supporters to join Amnesty and lobby this group from within. ‘Getting Amnesty on side will be a huge boost to our morale... we need to pursue them mercilessly and get them on side’, he said.” [article: http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/regional/sex-trade-was-asked-to-join-amnesty-and-lobby-internally-1-5854040]
• February 4th, 2014: Live webchat with the Director of Amnesty International UK Kate Allen reveals some disturbing answers to many thoughtful questions from the public. Kate Allen admits AI’s goal is not to fight the inequalities of the “imperfect world in which women and girls have far too few choices”, but to continue protecting their “restricted choices” and the meagre so-called rights within the conditions that perpetuate the violent, exploitative system that is prostitution. She also maintains that “ultimately, Amnesty UK's position will be determined by our members.”
Kate Allen: “Amnesty would say that prostitution takes place in a very imperfect world in which women and girls have far too few choices. Our consultation is about the best way to protect those whose restricted choices have left them working in the sex industry, so that they are not ignored by the authorities and their human rights are able to be protected.”
Kate Allen: “So we’re consulting our members and we’ll be talking to interested organisations... Here in the UK, we’ll be doing this up until our AGM in April and our members there will have the results of all of those discussions. They will make a decision on what Amnesty’s view here in the UK is. I’m sorry this is a bit of a long answer, but the global decision-making will include every section of Amnesty around the world, going through a similar process, and then we’ll bring that all together when the chairs of all of our sections meet in June. The final decision will then be made in the autumn.” [full transcript of Q&A: http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/mumsnet_live_events/a1986689-Live-webchat-with-Amnesty-International-Tuesday-4th-Feb-11-12pm]
FYI the concession price (for seniors or those on ‘reduced incomes’) to become a member of Amnesty is £7 yearly [https://www.amnesty.org.uk/giving/join/concessions]. That’s anywhere from 1-3% of GDP per capita in the world’s poorest nations - that’s comparable to asking someone who makes $40k to pay $1200 per year for membership.
Many many thanks to the many amazing wonderful writers, journalists, and publications who’ve written about and linked to this petition so far. We will update our “news updates” section with links very soon. Please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions or requests for information, interviews, or ideas for collaboration and mobilization. You can contact us through change.org or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.