Buying Sex Is a Human Right? Amnesty International Endorses ‘Decriminalization’ of Prostitution

Amnesty International, long the darling of the non-governmental human rights movement, has sparked an uproar with a decision to endorse the decriminalization of prostitution, infuriating women’s groups who accuse it of essentially characterizing pimping and the buying of sex as a human right.

Meeting in Dublin, Ireland, the AI’s 400-member international council passed a resolution Tuesday authorizing the group’s board to adopt a policy supporting the full “decriminalization of sex work” around the world.

At the same time it said governments “have the obligation to prevent and combat trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation.”

The organization did not release the vote count on what AI secretary-general Salil Shetty acknowledged afterwards was “not a decision that was reached easily or quickly.” A request for the vote breakdown, sent to the organization’s media office, brought no response by press time.