The oldest profession in the world?

News today that the Government is looking at changing the law on prostitution. This has been prompted in part because of the enormous number of women and girls now trafficked and forced into prostitution in the UK, and the difficulties of interrupting this trade and prosecuting both those who hold the women prisoner, and those who encourage them to do so by paying for sex with them.

Amnesty and several partner organizations have a photo exhibition which is currently touring the UK, Slave Britain, which tells a few of these womens stories.

What is shocking in todays news report is reference to research (click on the supermarket link in recent publications) which asked punters what measures would deter them from using buying sex. While some said that bigger fines and being named and shamed might do so, none said that knowing a woman had been forced into prostitution would do so.

Among whatever legal changes to come, what is clearly needed is a targeted awareness-raising campaign by the government to make men aware of the scale of sex trafficking and of what women and girls endure.

Also today, the Independent has a stunning Story about how a super-fit dancer tried to reproduce some of the infamous stress and duress interrogation techniques that the US has tried to defend in its war on terror. Its being made into a short film as part of Amnestys new Unsubscribe campaign.

Unsubscribe is a new way of uniting people who are sick and tired of the counter-terrorism security agenda being used justify human rights abuses. Basically its about people saying that fair trials and the right not to be tortured shouldnt be swept aside and theyre worth standing up for.

You should be hearing a lot more about Unsubscribe in the coming months, but get in early! Go to the Unsubscribe site and see how you can link up with your Facebook, Bebo, MySpace and flickr photos. Whatever you do - you should definitely enter the flickr photos competition. Unsubscribe now!

And finally my old favourite - sport and human rights! A fantastic run from Asafa Powell yesterday, now officially the fastest man in the world.

But guess who was once the fastest sprinter in the UK? Leader of the LibDems, Ming Campbell MP! He held the UK 100m record from 1967-1974. He comments on next years China Olympics here.

About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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