Amnesty International is set to review an internal policy document regarding the group’s stance on sex work at a meeting in Ireland next month, and a slew of Hollywood celebrities are banding together to stand against decriminalizing the sex trade.
A-list stars such as Lena Dunham, Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet, Emma Thompson and Anne Hathaway have all signed a petition against the group’s “Draft Policy on Sex Work,” which according to the Hollywood Reporter declares “consensual sexual conduct between adults — which excludes acts that involve coercion, deception, threats, or violence — is entitled to protection from state interference.”
A policy shift would not conflict with Amnesty’s “longstanding position that trafficking into forced prostitution should be criminalized as a matter of international law” per the proposal, and would also ask “states must take all appropriate measures to prevent [the] exploitation of children.”
Nearly 2,600 people disagree, including the aforementioned celebrities, and have signed a change.org petition.
The letter, signed by numerous other celebtrities, also states the sex trade exploits “the poor, the incested, the transgendered, the homeless”, and states any sanctioning by the state could lead to “a system of gender apartheid … [in which women] whose lives are shaped by absence of choice are … set apart for consumption by men and for the profit of their pimps, traffickers and brothel owners.”
The letter argues decriminalizing the sex trade would liken pimps to “business people” who “sell vulnerable individuals with impunity,” and states in the event of a policy change, Amnesty would “in effect advocate the legalization of pimping, brothel owning and sex buying – the pillars of a $99-billion global sex industry.”