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UN Rights Experts Make False Promises About Prostitution

“The United Nations working group on discrimination against women and girls published a paper last year that not only fails to address the widespread human rights violations caused by prostitution and pornography, but also advocates for policies that will endanger women and girls.

The guidance paper, “Eliminating discrimination against sex workers and securing their human rights,” now circulating in the UN system, ostensibly offers ways to address the violence women endure in prostitution, but the use of the terminology of “sex work” raises red flags. The theme of the 68th annual Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), the UN’s largest gathering on gender equality, is investing more in women to lift them out of poverty, among other goals. One proposal, however, that is circulating among member states to endorse the paper contravenes the goals.

Instead of dealing with the scourge of prostitution within a human rights framework, the paper urges countries to decriminalize the sex trade, including all commercial sex establishments, sex buying, sex tourism, and pimping — actions that would corrode women’s rights and spur more sex trafficking. The working group states that its intent is not to define “sex work,” which is telling; doing so would have required them to list every player that profits from this sordid “business,” online and off […]”

 Read Taina Bien-Aimé’s op-ed in PassBlue. 



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