[From WMC] Abolishing Prostitution: A Feminist Human Rights Treaty

From a 2002 series of posters in a campaign coordinated by the Swedish government. Photo: The Swedish Government

Recently, catching up on email after a few days of hiking in the wilderness, my heart leapt at a headline “French minister seeks abolition of prostitution in France and Europe.”  She is Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, France’s minister of women’s rights. The new French campaign to abolish prostitution will have its naysayers:  “Impossible!”  “too idealistic,” “so utopian it will never happen!”  And, of course, those who promote the sex industries will insist that “sex is work and women’s choice.”  I heard those refrains in 1991 when, as executive director and co-founder of the UN Human Rights NGO, the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, I began to launch a global campaign to criminalize prostitution customers, otherwise known as johns or punters.

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Trafficking in Persons Report 2011

U.S. Department of State Releases Annual Trafficking in Persons Report

This year, the Department of State annual report on human trafficking released a ranking for the second year in a row which included the  United States and an evaluation of national efforts to combat and prosecute human trafficking, and protect those who have fallen victim. You can read the State Department’s full report here.