The Alliance for Human Rights and the Inclusion of Sex Workers in Latin America and the Caribbean demands an end to the criminalization of people who perform sex work and urges states to protect their human rights.
This Alliance seeks to visibilize sex workers, who are invisible in the eyes of the States, leaving them in with total lack of protection and in violation of their rights.
People who engage in sex work, mainly cis and trans women, are exposed to suffering a whole series of abuses against their Human Rights, such as sexual and physical violence, extortion, and discrimination, as well as torture and murder.
We understand that in a world that is in full deconstruction of paradigms anchored in patriarchy, it is urgent to guarantee the rights of a sector that determines itself and exercises the right to make autonomous decisions about their lives and their bodies.
Sex workers do so of their own free will, are of legal age and understand this task to generate their income. Criminalizing adult, voluntary and consensual sexual relations - including the exchange of sexual services - is incompatible with the Human Rights to personal autonomy, dignity, and privacy, among others, while denying the capacity to act to a determined group of women does not only is it absolutely patriarchal, but it is also opposed to all conventions that purport to reinforce the right of women to give or withhold their consent.
This Alliance fights to end the exploitative conditions to which people who do not have the protection of the State are subjected due to anachronistic legislation, without considering the voice of the protagonists and strongly condemns human trafficking and forced labor.
We seek to guarantee public policies and legislation that protect the Human Rights of people who perform sex work and combat the crimes and abuses that today are carried out against thousands of them.
Our organizations are leading civil society networks and Human Rights organizations. We have decades of experience and knowledge in Human Rights, sexual and reproductive health and rights, HIV, harm reduction, the rights of LGBTIQ+ people, digital rights, the fight against human trafficking, migration and racial justice, among other topics.
Within these numerous fields of expertise, organizations have come to the same conclusion: Criminalization is not the solution. Only by adopting a human rights-based approach, decriminalizing all aspects of sex work, and meaningfully and genuinely including sex workers and human rights defenders in decision-making can they be protected.
The criminalization of consensual and paid sexual relations between adults continues to have a negative impact on the lives of sex workers and, in particular, on their access to health and justice.
Despite calls by some organizations to abolish prostitution; to protect and rescue; people who sell sexual services, there is no evidence that criminalizing sex workers, their clients or third parties has a positive impact on the life or human rights of sex workers.
To the contrary, decades of evidence from academic research, civil society organizations, and from sex workers themselves clearly indicate that policing, repressions, and criminalization directly harm health, well-being, and social inclusion.
It is important to highlight the process that has been taking place in New Zealand since 2003, where there is evidence that shows substantial changes in the lives of sex workers after the decriminalization of sex work. This State made extensive calls and discussed public policies with the premise of cessation of the violation of rights, avoiding the generation of punitive regulations with a high moral charge that end up criminalizing people. Violence rates have dropped drastically.