On Oct. 17, The New York Times published “George Soros Transfers Billions to Open Society Foundations.” The article neglected to highlight OSF’s position on full decriminalization of the sex trade. In response, our executive director wrote a letter to the editor that remains unpublished by the newspaper. The full text of the letter follows below.
While George Soros claims to combat “dark forces,” (“George Soros Transfers Billions to Open Society Foundations,” Oct. 17, 2017), his footprint promoting commercial sexual exploitation, including prostitution, is transparent. From Amnesty International to Black Lives Matter, from Colombia to South Africa, Soros heavily funds groups advocating for the decriminalization of the sex trade, including pimping and brothel-owning. Conversely, women’s rights organizations and survivors are pushing to pass laws worldwide that solely decriminalize prostituted individuals and provide them services. It is illogical for Soros to contend that governments can protect the exploited by decriminalizing their exploiters. Vibrant democracies rest on governments’ political will to uphold all individuals’ dignity and equality. Soros should understand that buying sexual access to women’s bodies is an unfettered exercise of violent power and control exercised by those who have choices over those who have few or none. If Soros succeeds in efforts to shield the multi-billion dollar sex industry, fueled by sex traffickers and sex buyers, generations of the most disenfranchised — overwhelmingly women of color — won’t stand a chance at enjoying their human rights or the promise of democracy.