Human Rights-Based Approach
International human rights law is abolitionist and defines prostitution as a violation of human dignity: Article 6 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) states: “States Parties shall take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to suppress all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of prostitution of women.
One year after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1949, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of Prostitution, a binding instrument that criminalizes prostitution and human trafficking as “incompatible with the dignity and worth of the human person”.
The prostitution system is a violation of human rights and a fundamental obstacle to gender equality. While international law recognises prostitution as such and prohibits its exploitation, it is incumbent on States to respect their international obligations and in this sense to adopt and implement abolitionist policies.
Our coalition advocates for the universal elimination of the exploitation of the prostitution of others by making States accountable for their obligations under Article 6 of the CEDAW Convention, the UN Convention of 2 December 1949 for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others and the Palermo Protocol (2000).