EWL News

Europe is ready for a future free from sexual exploitation and violence against women and girls, urges coalition

[Brussels, 21 April 2021] In an event gathering MEPs, civil society representatives and political champions, the Brussels’ Call coalition launches the Her Future is Equal campaign, calling for the adoption of the Equality Model throughout Europe to eliminate sexual exploitation and protect all women and girls from violence.

An equal Europe is one where everyone, regardless of their sex, circumstance or background has access to the same opportunities and choices in life. This is the principle underpinning the new Her Future is Equal campaign, launched today at an online event hosted by the Brussels’ Call coalition.

The result of a 9-year-old initiative featuring dozens of MEPs and more than 200 civil society organisations, this new campaign calls for action at EU and Member States levels to realise a European Union free from sexual exploitation and human trafficking.

The campaign seeks to highlight that resolving the inequalities that lead to sexual exploitation is a journey that it is essential to undertake. Focusing on real solutions, alternatives and policies that reflect the realities of prostitution in Europe will enable us to create a better future for all of Europe’s women and girls.

The Brussels’ Call proposes the Equality Model as a proven approach to combat the complex issue of sexual exploitation, with the aim of raising awareness of its root causes as well as of the harm caused by it. The Equality Model decriminalises individual women and girls who get trapped in prostitution, protecting them from their abusers. The Equality Model holds sex buyers accountable for their behaviour. The Equality Model provides support, education and opportunities so that all people have real life choices.

The Her Future is Equal campaign shines a light on such inequalities by bringing together striking data and figures about prostitution and human trafficking, as well as the perspective of survivors of the sex trade. Drawing the link between migration, human trafficking and sexual exploitation, the Brussels’ Call underlines that migrant women make up an average of 84% of prostituted women in the EU [1]. Moreover, 65% of trafficking in the EU leads to sexual exploitation and 95% of those exploited are women [2].

“The Equality Model is a proven, integrated approach to creating a Europe where gender inequalities do not result in prostitution and where everyone has the choice not to have access to their bodies bought or sold for sex. Equal means freedom from sexual exploitation. We believe a future without sexual exploitation is achievable, but political will and co-ordinated action across the EU is needed to make this happen. We can act now to ensure a fairer, safer and more equal future for all” - said Catríona Graham, Coordinator of the Brussels’ Call campaign and Policy and Campaigns Officer at European Women’s Lobby (EWL).

“The Her Future is Equal campaign is an essential part of our effort to collaborate with decision-makers at EU and national level to tackle violence against women and girls. In particular, we would like to take this opportunity to reinforce our call for the implementation of the Anti-Trafficking Directive and the introduction of EU legislative action to end sexual exploitation as part of a legislative framework to tackle violence against women and girls” - said Joanna Maycock, Secretary General of European Women’s Lobby (EWL).

Follow the event live stream here.

Follow the initiative on social media: @EuropeanWomen @HerEqualFuture

Catríona Graham, Coordinator of the Brussels’ Call campaign EWL

For media enquiries:
Adriana Paradiso, Communications & Media Coordinator EWL
+32 465576876

[2European Commission 2018: https://brusselscall.eu/resources/#citations

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