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The rise of the far right in Europe: a threat to the feminist fight for the abolition of prostitution

Feminism and the rise of the far right in Europe ©-European-Union-2015-European-Parliament

The Coalition for the Abolition of Prostitution is concerned about the rise of far-right groups in the European Parliament following the European elections.

Our grassroots member-organisations support more than 18,000 victims of prostitution and trafficking for sexual exploitation around the world. These women and girls, in a wide majority, belong to the most marginalised communities: they are migrant, Indigenous, precarious, from ethnic, racial, religious minorities or oppressed castes. They are at the crossroads of multiple vulnerabilities, such as poverty, homelessness, experience of sexist and sexual violence in childhood or addictions to drugs and alcohol.

Guaranteeing their access to fundamental rights is a lenghty and difficult battle that we fight alongside them. Our member organisations work on the ground to ensure that persons in prostitution have access to health care, housing, residence permits, monthly financial allowances, pathways out of prostitution… We are deeply concerned by the risks posed by the racist and xenophobic policies of far right parties based on “national preference” and the rejection of foreign nationals, on the protection and access to human rights of women in prostitution, particularly migrants, who account for 70% of persons in prostitution in Europe.

We recall that far right ideas are incompatible with our abolitionist feminism. We denounce the far-right masculinist rhetoric aimed at normalising and promoting prostitution as a necessary evil designed to satisfy the “irrepressible sexual needs of men” which is rooted in  a historical patriarchal tradition of men’s desire to control and access women’s bodies.

We will continue our efforts at European level to combat the sexist and sexual violence that is prostitution. Our manifesto “For a Feminist, Antiracist and Equal Europe: Abolish the Prostitution System”, published as part of our European election campaign, has been signed by 31 candidates. We welcome their cross-party support. They all are committed to the abolitionist model we support, based on :

  1. The decriminalisation of all persons in prostitution
  2. The guarantee of exit pathways to persons in prostitution
  3. A ban on the purchase of sexual acts
  4. A ban on all forms of pimping
  5. Establishing a prevention strategy on the non-commodification of women and the realities of prostitution, targeting young people in particular.

We will continue to fight far-right ideas by opposing them with our feminist, anti-racist and social justice project of society: a society in which the most discriminated-against women and girls are neither sold nor bought.

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