Open letter: European Coalition on Sex Workers’ Rights and Inclusion calls on MEPs to reject the Prostitution Report

In an open letter, the organisations united under the European Coalition on Sex Workers’ Rights and Inclusion, of which Amnesty International is a member, call on all Members of the European Parliament to reject and to vote against the report Regulation of prostitution in the EU: its cross-border implications and impact on gender equality and women’s rights, 2022/2139(INI).

Our organisations are leading civil society networks and human rights organisations. We have decades of experience and expertise in addressing women’s rights and gender equality, human rights, sexual and reproductive health and rights, HIV, harm reduction, the rights of LGBTI people, digital rights, human trafficking, migration, racial justice and criminal justice. Within these numerous fields of expertise, all 13 organisations have come to the same conclusion: criminalisation of any aspect of sex work, which is proposed by this report, does not protect the rights of women and others engaged in sex work for manifold reasons, and does not help address the very serious issue of human trafficking and forced labour. It is only by adopting a human rights-based approach, decriminalising all aspects of sex work, and meaningfully including sex workers and sex workers’ human rights defenders in decision-making, that people selling sex, including victims of sexual exploitation, can be protected and serious human rights violations against people selling sex experience can be addressed.

We consider the submitted report, which will be put to a vote in plenary on September 14, to be biased
and harmful for people selling sex and other vulnerable groups for the reasons outlined in the open letter below.