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7 February 2014

Amnesty International is currently consulting on a draft policy proposing the decriminalisation of sex work. 

We initiated the policy consultation process because we have seen evidence to suggest that the criminalisation of sex work leads to social marginalisation and an increased risk of human rights abuses against sex workers. The evidence also suggests that decriminalisation could be the best means to protect the rights of sex workers and ensure that these individuals receive adequate medical care, legal assistance and police protection. 

Groups which support or are calling for the decriminalisation of sex work include the World Health Organization, UN Women, the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Human Rights Watch, the Kenya National Human Rights Commission, the Open Society Foundations, and the South African Commission on Gender Equality.

No decisions about Amnesty International's position have been made yet.

If you are a member of Amnesty International, please engage with the consultation process through the national office in your country. 

If you are not a member of Amnesty International, we welcome input through:

The final decision on the policy will be made by the movement's International Board informed by the consultation undertaken by Amnesty offices around the world. 

Amnesty International will continue to call for the prosecution of human traffickers, including trafficking for sex work, the prosecution of adults involved in child prostitution or any form of child abuse, and prosecution for anyone who commits a crime against a sex worker, including rape or any other form of violence. The consultation does not change our position on these human rights violations.