Amnesty International used to be a respected organization that spoke with moral authority. I was a member for many years and supported it actively in many ways. When it devoted itself to "Prisoners of Conscience" it had a high moral cause and a high moral profile. By patient, dedicated research and correspondence, the old Amnesty helped, supported and gained the release of many famous or obscure victims of state tyranny who would otherwise have been forgotten by the world. We wrote letters to enquire about people who had disappeared in police or state custody, and to give support to their family.
Founded in the 1960s, by the Roman Catholic lawyer, Peter Benenson, who died in 2005, Amnesty undoubtedly did a lot of good. Then it was taken over - hi-jacked I would say - by dubious people with a range of increasingly dubious agendas.
Instead of campaigning for victims of political tyranny, it started to follow trendier causes of the permissive era. When it started to promote "reproductive rights" including of course abortion, many members dropped out, and we in Headington could no longer meet at the Roman Catholic convent. Many of the old faithful fund-raisers went on supporting it and I wonder how many of them were aware of what was happening. Campaigning to abolish the death penalty sounded very idealistic but when you looked at the details it meant that Amnesty was campaigning on behalf of violent criminals, some of them serial killers. At this stage I dropped out, feeling that my priority would always be helping the innocent, and when there were no more innocent victims to help, then I would turn my mind to the plight of the murderers and psychopaths.
Amnesty has now gone so far downhill it is hardly recognizable. It has published a new policy document calling for the legalization of prostitution world-wide. It is calling prostitution "Human Rights". In this document, we find a gruesome hotch-potch of left-wing euphemism and ethical deformity. Equal right of access to prostitution is now proclaimed to be a Human Right! Yes the old, the ugly, the poor and the disabled must according to the new Amnesty, get their rightful entitlement to some "sex services" from "sex workers" to enhance their "quality of life." The grossness of this is beyond belief. Prostitution must be "non-discriminatory"!!!!
Does that mean that a customer cannot complain if he is offered a hideous old one-legged hag instead of the nubile young thing he was seeking? He cannot complain if he pays for a woman and gets a man in a dress, because that would be "transphobia"?
This sketch, as they used to say in Monty Python, is getting silly.
The document starts -
Amnesty International is opposed to the criminalization or punishment of activities related to the buying or selling of consensual sex [notice that the word "sex" is used to mean a service, a commodity, whereas it really means a category, male or female] between adults. Amnesty International believes that seeking, buying, selling and soliciting paid sex are acts protected from state interference as long as there is no coercion, threats or violence associated with those acts. Legitimate restrictions may be imposed on the practice of sex work if they comply with international human rights law (i.e., they are for a legitimate purpose, appropriate to meet that purpose, proportionate and non-discriminatory). Amnesty International believes states have a positive obligation to reform their laws and develop and implement systems and policies that eliminate discrimination against those engaging in sex work. Additionally, states must actively seek to empower the most marginalized in society, including through supporting the rights to freedom of association of those engaging in sex work, establishing frameworks that ensure access to appropriate, quality health services and safe working conditions, and through combating discrimination or abuse based on sex, sexual orientation and/or gender identity or expression."
What a lot of twaddle. Prostitution is by definition a form of abuse based on sex, and will always be dangerous regardless of how much money the state pours into "appropriate, quality health services and safe working conditions." A lot of the girls are trafficked and brought from one continent to another to exist as virtual slaves. The position Amnesty is taking up denies the moral dimension and condones the behaviour of the customers (mainly men) who behave in this way. It endorses and normalizes that behaviour, and calls on the state to patch up the symptoms. Why should we all take responsibility so that pimps can make a fortune?
Amnesty chief Colm O'Gorman gets a salary of E 99,000 per year. That is typical of the way men still exploit women. All the years that I was involved in Amnesty, I and the other volunteers, mainly female, were paid nothing. Not a penny. Many of the older supporters and fund-raisers I know are also women. They are being exploited by these unsavoury, self-seeking individuals at the top, who babble about "human rights" and all the time are crusading for crap.