Monthly Archives: July 2015

Letter to Anthony Mitchell Director of Board and AIA National President from Survivors

lisa marie amnesty shame on you

To Anthony Mitchell,

Director of the Board and National President Amnesty International Australia

Dear Mr. Mitchell,

We are prostitution and sex trafficking survivors and members of Amnesty Australia writing to express anger at what appears to be a deliberate breach of governance protocols regarding decisions voted on at the 2014 NAGM in Sydney in relation to Amnesty International Australia’s endorsement of the “sex work” policy.

The decision made was to begin the consultation process from scratch after it was agreed that the previous consultation process was flawed and biased. It was also decided that the new consultation would begin including input from survivors of the sex trade and other stakeholders. The new consultation process was never commenced. Instead, both of these decisions were ignored and the same flawed and biased consultation process has been repeated.

Our concerns have been brought to the attention of the international board, the National Director, and the Chairs and Directors Forum countless times and still have not been addressed.

Survivors have tried repeatedly to partner with the board and have consistently been dismissed. The overwhelming evidence in support of the Nordic Model has been summarily dismissed and the groups and individuals chosen for consultation were selected with heavy political bias.

The only attempt at any form of consultation was an online consultation survey that was developed and sent to some Amnesty members. The information it presented was heavily biased and only very selective information was included. The link to the online consultation survey has been disabled for days, meaning the members, including survivors, are not able to participate in the consultation through that forum.

Most concerning is that many members, particularly survivors, have reported not ever been informed about or received the link to the survey.  As the survey is the only form of consultation offered, this is of deep concern.

To reiterate, part one of the resolution passed by the NAGM last year was: ‘start the consultation process again, in partnership with survivors of prostitution and people who have been trafficked into the sex industry’. We are very disappointed that the consultation process has not been started again in any meaningful way.

Amnesty Australia has not formed any partnership with survivors of trafficking and prostitution and the board has willfully excluded our perspectives on the issue. Further, Amnesty Australia has not advocated to the international body to work in partnership with us on global consultation.

Numerous attempts have been made by survivor groups to engage with the board and form the partnership that was voted on at the 2014 NAGM and continue to be ignored. Despite a complete lack of any new consultation and complete absence of any partnering with prostitution and trafficking survivors, we understand the board intends to vote in favour of full sex trade decriminalisation on behalf of Amnesty International Australia at the International Council Meeting (ICM) in August.

This would be in direct contravention of the resolution passed by the NAGM in 2014. For this reason, we urge Amnesty International Australia to vote to reject the resolution in its current form at the International Council Meeting.

We are offering again to partner with the board in developing a suitable position to put to the International Council that takes into account the experience, knowledge, expertise and perspectives of prostitution and trafficking survivors.

The Board has an obligation to hold itself to Amnesty International’s democratic governance principals and act on behalf of all members. Acting in opposition to a resolution voted for by the NAGM would be a very serious and concerning breach of this obligation.

  Amnesty Australia’s Integrated Strategic Plan (ISP) for the years 2009 – 2016 adopted by the 29th International Council Meeting includes ‘a commitment to promoting ‘active participation of rights holders’. Survivors of prostitution and trafficking and the perspectives of all those with past and present lived experience of the sex industry are clearly rights holders in regard to this decision and any position put forward at the International Council Meeting made without our participation would be a breach of the ISP.

We ask that the resolution passed by your members at last year’s NAGM be honored and that you now work in partnership with us and our movement to develop a proper and comprehensive consultation process before putting a position forward internationally.

Sincerely,

Ms Rhiannon Poole

Ms Simone Watson

Ms Kat Pinder

Please see here a list of signatories on an open letter in this link from the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women:

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Over-400-Urge-Amnesty-International-to-Vote-NO-on-Policy-to-Decriminalize-the-Sex-Trade.html?soid=1109945123909&aid=et6hSAUD2P4

https://ressourcesprostitution.wordpress.com/plus-de-400-partisanes-et-partisans-des-droits-humains-conjurent-amnesty-international/?preview=true&preview_id=1521

Amnesty International Australia claims Impartiality?*cue ironic, mournful laughter*

Here is an AIA board member on Twitter.  Presumably we are meant to trust that submissions received from members for alternatives to the decriminalisation of pimps and johns will be taken with impartiality and lack of bias. In Sen we trust? One thinks not. He even gets a little pat on the back from the Scarlet Alliance. Oh dear Amnesty, what are you going to do? I was an appointed Human Rights Delegate at the 2014 National AGM here in Australia and along with others we were subjected to a contrived attack from the pro-sex worker groups Scarlet Alliance and Vixen. Senthorun Raj, an AIA board member, solicited them to come back on the second day of the forum with reinforcements. They did.. that is another story- but here is the “un-biased” AIA board member on Twitter…

Really Amnesty, if you want to be taken seriously,sen 1 sen 4 sen 5 sen 6 sen 9 sen15 sen 7 sen11 sen11 sen12 sen12 sen2. sen3

Oliver’s Twist: On Men Lecturing Women on How to be the Woman 

aoifeschatology

Despite flirting with fluorescent hair-dye, and other temporary signs of the queer anti-establishment prowess, transgenderists actually adore institutional validation.

In fact, they seek it. They demand it, adorn themselves with it like medals purchased from a pawn shop, and then demand some more.

Thus, success in trans terms invariably coincides with the stuff society insists are the indicators/symptoms of neoliberal accomplishment:  trans people in the military; or appearing cropped and photoshopped on magazine covers; and — coup de foudre — primetime telly, including collaborating with the same network that brought us 19 Kids and Counting.

Every weekly listicle on “How to be an awesome trans ally”  has, as a midpoint, the rejection of the  “you’re so brave narrative” as exoticizing “inspiration porn“.  But the status quo dispenses Courage Awards to trans “heroes” as if they were from a gold-star Pez dispenser.

In transgender parlance, they like…

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– Amnesty International…Le nouveau meilleur ami de l’industrie du sexe

Amnesty International…Le nouveau meilleur ami de l’industrie du sexe

par Simone Watson, directrice, et Bronwyn Williams, membresse,

de Nordic Model Australia Coalition (NorMAC)

13 juillet 2015

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“Le Projet de politique sur le travail du sexe récemment publié par Amnesty International, pour considération de la 32e Réunion du Conseil International (RCI) de l’organisation à Dublin, du 7 au 11 août de cette année, est une farce au plan des droits de la personne.

Loin d’offrir un document de politique général et bien documenté, Amnesty a déposé un document bâclé et incolore, sans doute rédigé par un laquais inconditionnellement dévoué au politiquement correct et excellant dans l’esbroufe verbale répétitive.

Le vocabulaire de cette ébauche de politique se résume à des effets stylistiques, sans aucune substance.

La politique proposée reconnaît que «des facteurs systémiques et des circonstances personnelles liées à la pauvreté, la discrimination et l’inégalité entre les sexes peuvent avoir une…

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– Prostitution : Lettre ouverte de survivantes à Amnesty International

Lettre ouverte de survivantes à Amnesty International

publié le 12 juillet 2015 sur Abolish Prostitution Now!

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Ce texte est une déclaration et une réaction soumise à l’attention des leaders et des membres d’Amnesty International, par un groupe de survivantes de la prostitution et de personnes qui sont ou ont été lésées dans le commerce du sexe. Nous participons à un mouvement mondial croissant de personnes qui sont devenues politisées, expertes et bien informées sur le fonctionnement de l’industrie du sexe, en commençant par nos propres vécus.

Bien que nous ayons toutes vécu des préjudices dans le commerce du sexe et avons donc une perspective abolitionniste de cette industrie, nous avons également une connaissance approfondie de tous les points de vue à cet égard, du fait d’avoir fouillé objectivement les impacts de différents systèmes juridiques dans le monde entier. Certaines d’entre nous sont membres actifs d’Amnesty International et nous sommes soucieuses…

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Statement by prostitution survivors and those who have been harmed in the sex trade

Abolish Prostitution Now!

This is a statement and response developed for the attention of Amnesty International leadership and grass roots membership, by a group of prostitution survivors and people who are or have been harmed in the sex trade. We are involved in a growing global movement of people who have become politicised, expert and knowledgable about the way the sex trade operates, starting from our own experiences.

Although we have all experienced harm in the sex trade and therefore have an abolitionist perspective of the trade, we also have extensive knowledge from all perspectives, having researched throughly the impacts of different legal systems around the world from an objective point of view. Some of us are active Amnesty International members and we are concerned about the organisation and it’s reputation as a human rights defender, especially since the organisation has done good work historically against sexual exploitation and the expansion of harm.

We understand that Amnesty are looking to push through a sex trade decriminalisation policy and that in August the Amnesty International Council (one of the international decision making…

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MRA Peter Nolan: “Killing women is the only path to justice for men now.”

we hunted the mammoth

Peter Andrew Nolan: At war with women Peter Andrew Nolan: At war with women

Men’s Rights Activists love to “warn” women that they may soon face a day of reckoning if they don’t shape up and start acting the way MRAs think they should. Don’t make men angry, they say; you wouldn’t like us when we’re angry!

Still, most MRAs making these “predictions” at least make a token effort to pretend to be horrified at the notion of men rising up to wreak vengeance upon uppity women. This isn’t what we want, they assure women; it’s just what will happen if you continue to “provoke” men with your bad behavior.

Other MRAs find it impossible to contain their glee; like doomsday preppers with well-stocked bunkers and enough ammo to kill every living thing within a 500 mile radius, they can’t wait for the end of the world.

Peter Andrew Nolan is one of these other MRAs…

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They used to call it rape

glosswatch

They used to call it rape, back in the day. For one brief, shining moment, we thought we knew what rape was, if not how to stop it. Oh, but that will come next, we thought. Now that we have our words, we can use our voices.

It didn’t turn out that way. Yesterday Morwenna Ferrier wrote a piece in the Guardian in which she described how, in Rihanna’s BBHMM video, “the themes of sexualised violence, seemingly gratuitous nudity and non-consensual BDSM sent segments of the world’s media into a state of apoplexy.” Images of spluttering, red-faced Disgusteds of Tunbridge Wells instantly sprung to mind. Imagine getting angry over non-consensual BDSM! God, I hate those bigots who spend all their time stigmatising the BDSM community!

So what is non-consensual BDSM? Well, I guess it’s like sexual abuse, but with the focus on the “sex” bit and with greater empathy with…

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AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL CONDEMNED OVER FAST TRACKING OF SEX LAW POLICY

National Director Simone Watson…Nordic Model Australia Coalition
07.07.15 9:48 am

Human Rights and Womens groups along with Survivors have been outraged over the continued attempt by Amnesty International to rail road through their policy on prostitution after being exposed for failing to properly consult with their international membership base and stakeholders.

The proposed Amnesty International International Council policy calling for the decriminalisation of sex work released at the Amnesty International Australia AGM held in Sydney last weekend, has been roundly condemned by human rights, womens’ and Survivor groups and Amnesty members all over the world.

The policy will be decided on by the International Board at a meeting in Dublin in August.

This is an appalling abuse of due process by the Amnesty International Council and for an organisation that has become increasingly top down in its consultation processes with members.  The International Secretariat previously admitted after receiving responses in 2013 to their Sex Work policy discussion paper that…

‘There is no question that the consultation process could have been handled much better.’ “

Of the 29 Sections which submitted consultation responses nearly all were from Europe and North America but few responses were received from sections in developing nations or those where indigenous populations have proved to be at high risk of human rights abuses in the sex trade.

With just under 60% of Amnesty International Sections not submitting any response on the Sex Work Policy and only 4 Sections giving support to the policy, it is appalling that Amnesty persists with their policy direction.

Of the 40% of sections who submitted written feedback to the policy, all supported decriminalisation of sex workers.

28% of sections that responded said they needed more research to be conducted by Amnesty to inform their views.  And further, 38% of respondents had called for an extension to the consultation process.  Others found the consultation process to be flawed.

During the previous 2013 consultation period on the Amnesty Sex Work Policy, some Amnesty Sections notified the International Secretariat that the policy was deficient in its ‘rationale and evidence base’ .

The International Secretariat also realised that the Sex Work Policy may have detrimental impacts on the organisation:
‘Amnesty International must consider the risks incurred by adopting a policy on sex work, including with regard to the organization’s credibility, funding, membership, and partner relationships.’

NORMAC understands that many Amnesty members have been devastated that this entire process has been fast tracked and that a more impartial approach to the various human rights approaches was not taken by Amnesty, as has been done by many jurisdictions recently when researching the broader human right implications of prostitution and its conflation with gender inequality, child abuse and sex trafficking globally.

Website: normac.org.au

   
 http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/pr-article/amnesty-international-condemned-over-fast-tracking-of-sex-laws-pol