Is prostitution a human right? Amnesty International thinks so.
Has Amnesty International been hijacked by proponents of the global sex trade? When the human rights nonprofit convenes its International Council Meeting next week in Dublin, delegates from around the world will be asked to vote on a proposal to recognize prostitution as a human right. Amnesty is arguing that prostitution is a matter of free choice, a stance heavily promoted by the multibillion-dollar commercial sex industry. The group is putting forth the view that sex work is compatible with the principle of gender equality and nondiscrimination, as if it were a job like any other. “By definition,” Amnesty’s proposal states, “sex work means that sex workers who are engaging in commercial sex have consented to do so.”I'm still enough of a libertarian to be OK with this, but let's differentiate between the voluntary and involuntary sex trade. An example of the voluntary sex trade can be found in Rent Boy. There are no pimps or controllers. "Models" pay a flat rate for ads and negotiate their own terms, keeping all the money for themselves. But that didn't stop Homeland Security(?) from busting down their doors.
Yesterday’s raid on the offices of Rentboy.com, resulting in the arrest of seven employees, was a bizarre, unprovoked crackdown on people it’s easy for “respectable” folks to stigmatize or ignore. On the contrary, this thoroughly unnecessary bust should be the impetus to legalize and regulate consensual sex work. It should become the ‘Stonewall’ of sex workers, the moment in which they and their allies say: Enough. There is much that we still do not know about the arrests, coordinated by the Department of Homeland Security and the New York law enforcement. DHS’s involvement is the most curious element. If anything, this should be a matter for a vice squad—like the “Public Morals Division” now featured on cable television. Ostensibly, Homeland Security got in because of interstate/international commerce.It's almost enough to make you miss the days of the Bush administration when gay prostitutes had the full run of the White House! Almost!