The members of Amnesty International Norway’s Women’s Rights Group have resigned their membership to the organization in protest over the Decision calling on governments to fully decriminalize the sex trade, including pimps and buyers of sex. The group’s release, translated in English, follows below:
The board of Amnesty Norway has not fulfilled their commitment to consult their members before making the decision about the new prostitution policy. This policy goes against Norwegian Law and can turn Amnesty Norway into a lobbying organization for the decriminalization of prostitution, which also simplifies the reality of human trafficking within the context of the sex trade. We demand that the members of the board resign their positions.
Amnesty International’s International Secretariat has categorized this case as extremely controversial. Because such a case was left out and not dealt with during congress, we believe the board has made a huge mistake.
The Norwegian sex purchase law is in line with the Nordic Model, upon which the Swedish law is also based. This is a modern and groundbreaking piece of legislation, which has made way for new laws in multiple countries around the globe. These laws represent one of the greatest victories for human — and women’s — rights organizations in recent years. In February 2014, the European Parliament adopted, with a clear majority, a resolution recommending that member countries criminalize the purchase of sexual services, the so-called Nordic Model.
We find ourselves in a situation in which Amnesty Norway, a leading human rights organization, can be used to campaign against the Norwegian sex purchase law. As Amnesty members, we cannot accept this.
Amnesty Norway’s board has failed in their duty to inform members about its position in a very controversial case and therefore must resign. We believe that prostitution in itself is a violation of human rights. We believe that prostitution and trafficking are related to each other. We believe that exploiting the poor is not the solution to poverty. It is with great regret that we, as longtime Amnesty members, are now in a situation in which we are forced to terminate our memberships.
The Women's Rights Group
Trine Lise Bryn
Ranveig Isdal Hansen
Møyfrid Oftedal Vea
The original text in Norwegian is available here.