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Amnesty vote YES to decriminalization of Sex Work!
Amnesty International members voted Tuesday to officially advocate for the decriminalization of sex work, amid backlash from anti-trafficking groups and Hollywood celebrities. While some country sections reportedly objected to the move and attempted to alter the proposal, an Amnesty spokesperson told VICE News it ultimately "passed with a comfortable majority."

In the runup to the vote at the group's International Council Meeting, Amnesty staff repeatedly stressed the policy would in no way alter its existing stance on sex trafficking and forced prostitution, something certain opponents applied to most if not all forms of sex work.

"Sex workers are one of the most marginalized groups in the world who in most instances face constant risk of discrimination, violence and abuse," Amnesty's Secretary General Salil Shetty said in a statement after the vote. "Our global movement paved the way for adopting a policy for the protection of the human rights of sex workers which will help shape Amnesty International's future work on this important issue."

The resolution passed today compels the organization to advocate policies that decriminalize "all aspects of consensual sex work," including the activities of those who purchase the service of prostitutes. Amnesty cited two years of research and consultation, which it said had "drawn from an extensive evidence base from sources including UN agencies, such as the World Health Organization, UN Women, and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health." Based on its findings, the group said they concluded a stance advocating decriminalization was the best way to reduce abuse risks faced by sex workers, while also defending their human rights.

Following the vote, Center for Health and Gender Equality (CHANGE) President Serra Sippel wrote in a tweet that the decision to adopt a policy on sex work decriminalization was a victory.

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