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United for a world free from sexual exploitation!

Access to decent work

The primary goal of the ILO today is to promote opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work, in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity.

Juan Somavia, former ILO Director General

The concept of “decent work” as defined by the International Labour Organization is strictly incompatible with prostitution. People from the most vulnerable and discriminated groups are over-represented in prostitution and violence is an immutable parameter intrinsically linked to the prostitution system.

Prostitution is therefore formally contrary to the dignity and value of the human person and cannot be defined as “sex work”: it is neither sex nor work, but a lucrative system of sexual and economic exploitation that threatens social justice and efforts for gender equality.

Our “Access to Decent Work” campaign aims to mobilize trade unions, those organizations at the heart of the struggle against inequality and various forms of exploitation, to campaign for access to decent work: a work that respects and promotes dignity, health, safety and well-being.

To date, our coalition has successfully mobilized dozens of unions around the world representing more than 10 million workers in solidarity with our efforts to abolish the exploitative system of prostitution.