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Minutes Group Meeting March 10th 2014

Minutes of Belfast Amnesty Group Meeting March 10th 2014

Attending:  Helen, Paul, Liz, Carolyn, Paddy, Heiko, Beatrice, Claudia, Leo, Grainne

Apologies: Carmel

New AI Global Policy on Sex Work:

Grainne Teggert advised on the new AI global policy on sex work. AI  believes it is a key human rights issue supporting marginalised people. It is the first time AI have put together a global policy on this.

There will be 3 motions put to the AIUK AGM in April for AIUK to decide it’s stance on the policy. This policy is relating to consensual sex only & is separate to trafficking which AI will continue to campaign on.

1. Decriminalisation

2. Partial decriminalisation based on the Swedish model where the purchaser is criminalised

3. No policy.

Grainne spoke of the many advantages & disadvantages of the 3 motions.  These include -The Swedish model has been gaining support in many countries but there is little evidence it reduces the purchasing of sex & has driven the workers further underground making it potentially more dangerous. Decriminalisation has support from many sex workers & NGOs such as WHO & UN advisory groups. There was a feeling from the group that this policy felt rushed as groups were being advised so close to the AGM when a decision on AIUK’s stance on this will be decided. It was agreed that this is a very complex & emotive issue with further thought & debate needed.

2014 AGM

The group discussed the various motions of the upcoming AGM. We agreed  we would vote in favour of many of the motions such as supporting more work on Asian garment workers, Guantanamo, Guatemala & Sri Lanka. It was decided that those attending would vote as individuals & not as the group on the sex workers debate.

Action: We did the monthly action calling on the Permanent Syrian Representative to the UN to increase protection of civilians caught up in the ongoing civil war.

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