Amsterdam World Charter for Prostitutes’ Rights

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15 Feb

During the first World Whores Congress in Amsterdam, organised by Margo St-James and Gail Pheterson, sex workers decided to form the International Committee for Prostitutes’ Rights (ICPR). Both sex workers and allies were present. A total of 75 participants from six European countries, three South-East Asian countries, the United States and Canada participated.

Until the last night of the Congress, they wrote a World Charter listing general demands shared globally by all the participants. They demanded the decriminalisation of all aspects of adult sex work and the repeal of laws denying their freedom of association, to a private life, or to travel. They opposed systematic zoning policies, mandatory health checks, or any law that limited their abilities to control their working conditions.

They asked for services for children. They also asked for services for people who wanted to exit the sex industry. They demanded that no special tax should be imposed on sex workers income and they demanded equal treatment with other workers. Finally, they demanded educational programmes to end stigma and discriminations against them, and material support for their political organising.