Help keep up the pressure on the UN to #ListenToSurvivors like Rebecca and take a strong stand against the exploitation of women and girls in prostitution. Rebecca and her organisation, Sex Trafficking Survivors United, along with other survivor-led organisations such as SPACE International, with their many individual and organisational members, have been unequivocally calling for the UN, EU and national governments to support the Nordic model and to reject decriminalisation and legalisation of the prostitution industry. If you live in the UK, write to your representatives in support of the Nordic model.
Decision-makers in the European Union, Council of Europe and individual European countries, including legislators in the UK, are increasingly recognising that efforts to reduce sex trafficking and sexual exploitation must include tackling demand as well as decriminalising and providing support and alternatives to people in prostitution. This will promote human rights and gender equality, rather than legitimising the inherently exploitative practices of the sex industry.
Though UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé stated in November 2013 that his organization “is not advocating for the decriminalisation of pimping or brothel ownership,” UNAIDS and other UN agencies continue to be referenced as calling for the full decriminalisation of the commercial sex industry, including pimping and brothel-keeping.
Since they are regularly referred to as supporting the legality of pimping and brothel-keeping, even if their official policy does not, UNAIDS and other UN agencies must take a strong stance against exploitation and publicly clarify their position. They must also, in all future development of policies and programmes on issues that affect people in the commercial sex industry, consult, involve and reflect the views of survivors of commercial sexual exploitation as well as a more diverse range of groups working on the issues of prostitution and sex trafficking.