EWL News

Open letter of 98 NGOs to Angela Merkel on sexual exploitation and trafficking of women and girls

[Brussels, March 2015] The European Women’s Lobby (EWL), together with many of its member organisations, has cosigned a letter to Ms Angela Merkel, calling her to place women’s rights at the core of the German policies on prostitution and trafficking.

The letter has been published in German and in English in EMMA, in French in Ressources Prostitution.

To the Right Honourable Dr. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany

Dear Chancellor Merkel,

2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in September 1995.

In connection with the United Nations Commission on the Status on Women and the commemoration of the Beijing Platform for Action, hundreds of organisations working for the promotion and protection of equality for women are in New York to assess and discuss the progress made for women and girls’ rights in the past 20 years.

Among the challenges to equality for women are many forms of discrimination against women, their poverty and their sexual exploitation which underpins their lack of status and opportunities worldwide.

It is in this context that we ask you to ensure that Germany will finally ratify the UN human rights Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others. This Convention was approved by the General Assembly in its resolution 317 (IV) of 2 December 1949 and entered into force on 25 July 1951. Its ratification by Germany is long overdue.

We would also like to draw your attention to the European Parliament Resolution of 26 February 2014 on sexual exploitation and prostitution and its impact on gender equality which, in its very first article "recognises that prostitution, forced prostitution and sexual exploitation are highly gendered issues and violations of human dignity, contrary to human rights principles, among which gender equality, and therefore contrary to the principles of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, including the goal and the principle of gender equality".

In addition, we respectfully ask that you to take into consideration the Resolution “Prostitution, trafficking and modern slavery in Europe,” adopted on the 8th of April 2014 by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and in particular its explicit recommendation for States to “consider criminalising the purchase of sexual services, based on the Swedish model, as the most effective tool for preventing and combating trafficking in human beings".

Finally, we ask you to honour, support and reliably and responsibly implement the

“Report of the Working Group on Contemporary Forms of Slavery of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities.” from 6 March 1991
UN Resolution 40/103 “Prevention of Prostitution” passed on 13 December 1985
UN Economic and Social Council resolutions 1988/34 of 27 May 1988
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly
Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (“Palermo Protocol”)

Seeing these international human rights agreements honoured in a country as rich and important as Germany is a vital step for women’s rights to a safe and free and equal life. A disregard of these basic principles by a country like Germany sets a sad example worldwide.

The world is watching whether Germany will reverse its legislation that, according to your own official country reports, has had “hardly any measureable positive impact” on the lives of women in prostitution nor reduced the criminal trafficking of women into the sex industry.”

We therefore call on you as one of the most influential and important leaders in the world, to place the promotion of women’s rights, guaranteed by internationally binding laws and conventions, at the top of your agenda.

We thank you, Chancellor Merkel, for your careful consideration to these urgent matters.

Sincerely yours,

Kathleen Barry, Ph.D.
Professor Emerita of Penn State University
ABOLISH PROSTITUTION NOW (USA/International)

ABOLITION 2014 (Germany)

ACTION AGAINST VIOLENCE AND EXPLOITATION, INC. (ACTVE) ( Philippines)

Ruchira Gupta
Founder and President
APNE AAP WOMEN WORLDWIDE (India)

ASSOCIAZIONE DORAD (Italy)

ASSOCIAZIONE IROKO ONLUS (Italy)

BAGONG KAMALAYAN SURVIVORS GROUP (Philippines)

Lidia Balogh (Hungary)

Anna Betlen (Hungary)

Inge Hauschildt-Schoen
BI-GEGEN-BORDELL (Germany)

Julie Bindel (United Kingdom)

Vednita Carter
Founder and Executive Director
BREAKING FREE (USA)

BUKLOD NG KABABAIHAN (Prostitution Survivors) (Philippines)

Iliana Stoicheva
National Coordinator
BULGARIAN WOMEN’S LOBBY (Bulgaria)

Twiss Butler (USA)

Kristina Misiniene
CARITAS (Lithuania)

Sonja Lokar
Executive Director
CEE NETWORK FOR GENDER ISSUES (Slovenia)

Teodora Krumova
Deputy Chair
CENTER AMALIPE (Bulgaria)

Silvia Chejter
CENTRO DE ENCUENTROS CULTURA Y MUJER (Argentina)

CHICAGO ALLIANCE AGAINST SEXUAL EXPLOITATION (USA)

Marie-Noëlle Bas
CHIENNES DE GARDE (France)

Aiyoung Choi
Advisory Council – CATW (USA)

Taina Bien-Aimé
Executive Director
COALITION AGAINST TRAFFICKING IN WOMEN (USA/International)

Jean Enriquez
Executive Director
COALITION AGAINST TRAFFICKING IN WOMEN - ASIA PACIFIC

Teresa C. Ulloa Ziáurriz
Regional Director
COALITION AGAINST TRAFFICKING IN WOMEN – LATIN AMERICA & CARIBBEAN

Asunción Miura
COMISIÓN PARA LA INVESTIGACIÓN DE MALOS TRATOS A MUJERES (Spain)

Diane Matte
Coordinatrice
CONCERTATION DES LUTTES CONTRE L’EXPLOITATION SEXUELLE (La CLES)(Canada)

CONSEIL DES FEMMES FRANCOPHONES DE BELGIQUE (Belgium)

Anik Raskin
Chargée de Direction
CONSEIL NATIONAL DES FEMMES DU LUXEMBOURG (Luxembourg)

Jana Chržová
Chairperson
CZECH WOMEN’S UNION
CZECH WOMEN’S LOBBY (Czech Republic)

DEVELOPMENT THROUGH ACTIVE WOMEN NETWORKING
FOUNDATION (DAWN Foundation) (Philippines)

Heather Harvey
Research and Development Manager
EAVES FOR WOMEN (United Kingdom)

Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge
Executive Director
EMBRACE DIGNITY (South Africa)

Florence Montreynaud
ENCORE FÉMINISTES (France/International)

Yasmeen Hassan
Global Director
EQUALITY NOW (USA/International)

EUROMED FEMINIST INITIATIVE IFE-EFI (France)

Anna Zobnina
Chair
EUROPEAN NETWORK OF MIGRANT WOMEN

Viviane Teitelbaum
President
EWL – EUROPEAN WOMEN’S LOBBY

FEMMES SOLIDAIRES (France)

Dr. Renate Klein
FINRRAGE (Australia)

Louise Lindfors
President
FREDRIKA BREMER SOCIETY (Sweden)

Pat and Gerard Gartlan (Australia)

Yolande Geadah (Canada)

Agnès Baron
Véronique Colomies
Lilly Devasia
Marie Luc Dordonat
Maria Dutra
Magdalena Franciscus
Marie Françoise Le Brizaut
Marie Paule Richard
Leadership Team
GOOD SHEPHERD EUROPE (BFMN) (Belgium/France/Hungary/Netherlands)

Winifred Doherty
GOOD SHEPHERD INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE PEACE OFFICE – NEW YORK (USA)

Rosa Mary Corral García
GOOD SHEPHERD - LA PROVINCIA DE ESPAÑA DEL BUEN PASTOR (Spain)

Rosemary Kean
GOOD SHEPHERD - PROVINCE OF GREAT BRITAIN (United Kingdom)

Angela Ricci
GOOD SHEPHERD - PROVINCE OF ITALY/MALTA

Nimmi Gowrinathan, Ph.D.
Director, Politics of Sexual Violence Initiative
Colin Powell School, City College New York (USA)

Marcela Virginia Rodríguez
Argentinian Parlamentarian (2001-2013)
GROUP JUSTICE AND GENDER - CENTRO DE ESTUDIOS INTERDISCIPLINARIOS PARA EL ESTUDIO DE POLÍTICAS PÚBLICAS - CIEPP (Argentina)

Borbála Juhász
Chair
HUNGARIAN WOMEN’S LOBBY (Hungary)

Nusha Yonkova
Anti-Trafficking Manager
IMMIGRANT COUNCIL OF IRELAND (Ireland)

Gunhild Mewes
Maya Schnitzler
INITIATIVE FÜR GERECHTIGKEIT BEI SEXUELLER GEWALT (Germany)

Inge Kleine
INITIATIVE STOP SEXKAUF (Germany)
ABOLITION 2014 (Germany)

Susana Chiarotti Boero
INSGENAR (INSTITUTO DE GENERO, DERECHO Y DESARROLLO) (Argentina)

Toni Van Pelt
President
INSTITUTE FOR SCIENCE AND HUMAN VALUES (USA)

Siusi Casaccia
Chair
ITALIAN WOMEN’S LOBBY (Italy)

Prof Sheila Jeffreys
School of Social and Political Sciences
University of Melbourne (Australia)

Ulrike Maier
KARLSRUHER APPELL (Germany)

Helle Jarlmose
Secretary General
KFUKS SOCIALE ARBEJDE (Denmark)

Dr. Dalia Puidokienė
Executive Director
KLAIPEDA SOCIAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES CENTER (Lithuania)

Anita Heiliger
KOFRA MÜNCHEN (Germany)
INITIATIVE STOP SEXKAUF (Germany)

Pascale Maquestiau
LE MONDE SELON LES FEMMES (Belgium)

Laure Caille
General Secretary
LIBRES MARIANNES (France)

Joyce Folwazcny
Director
MAISHA E.V.-AFRICAN WOMEN IN GERMANY (Germany)

Lorraine Spiteri
Chairperson
MALTA CONFEDERATION OF WOMEN’S ORGANISATIONS (MCWO)(Malta)

Hanne Helth
Spokesperson
MARCH 8 INITIATIVE (Denmark)

Iluta Lāce
MARTA RESOURCE CENTRE FOR WOMEN (Latvia)

Susana Pavlou
Director, MEDITERRANEAN INSTITUTE OF GENDER STUDIES
President, CYPRUS WOMEN’S LOBBY (Cyprus)

Natalja Kurčinskaja
Director
MISSING PERSONS’ FAMILIES SUPPORT CENTRE (Lithuania)

MOUVEMENT DU NID (France)

Annette Lawson
NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF WOMEN’S ORGANISATIONS (United Kingdom)

Terry O’Neill
President
NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN (USA)

Karen Ingala Smith
Chief Executive
NIA ENDING VIOLENCE (United Kingdom)

NISA UL HAQQ FI BANGSAMORO (Philippines)

Caroline Norma
School of Global, Urban and Social Studies
RMIT University (Australia)

Matthew Holloway
National Secretary
NorMAC (Australia)

Durdica Kolarec
Coordinator
PETRA NETWORK (Prevention and Elimination of Trafficking in Women)(Croatia)

Dianne Post
International Human Rights Attorney (USA)

Melissa Farley, Ph.D.
Executive Director
PROSTITUTION RESEARCH & EDUCATION (USA)

Janice G. Raymond, Ph.D.
Professor Emerita, University of Massachusetts, Amherst (USA)

Malin Roux Johansson
Executive Director
REALSTARS (Sweden)

Michèle Vianès
President
REGARDS DE FEMMES (France)

RENEW FOUNDATION (Philippines)

RESISTENZA FEMMINISTA (Italy)

Lesley Rimmel
Core Faculty Member, Gender and Women’s Studies Program
Oklahoma State University (USA)

Karin Svensson
Chairwoman
ROKS (Sweden)

Laura Albu
President
ROMANIAN WOMEN’S LOBBY (Romania)

Sarah Benson
CEO
RUHAMA (Ireland)

Reka Safrany (Hungary)

SAMARITANA TRANSFORMATION MINISTRIES (Philippines)

Judge Judy Harris Kluger
Executive Director
SANCTUARY FOR FAMILIES (USA)

SANLAAP (India)

Lynn Savarese, Esq. (USA)

Dr. Ingeborg Kraus
SCIENTISTS FOR A WORLD WITHOUT PROSTITUTION (Germany)

Sr. Lea Ackermann
SOLWODI (Germany)

Michèle Dayras
President
SOS SEXISME (France)

SPACE ALLIES (Japan)

SPACE INTERNATIONAL (Survivors of Prostitution-Abuse Calling for Enlightment)

Alice Schwarzer (Germany)
Publisher of EMMA and essayist

Gloria Steinem (USA)

Guðrún Jónsdóttir
Spokesperson
STIGAMOT (Iceland)

Autumn Burris
Founding Director
SURVIVORS FOR SOLUTIONS (USA)

Gertrud Åström
President
SWEDISH WOMEN’S LOBBY

TALIKALA (Philippines)

Christa Stolle
Member of the Board and General Secretary
Karen Ehlers
Solveig Senft
Yvonne Smidt
Members
TERRE DES FEMMES (Germany)

Gunilla Hjelm
Chairperson
THE CENTER WOMEN OF SWEDEN (Sweden)

Françoise Morvan
President
THE FRENCH COORDINATION FOR THE EUROPEAN WOMEN’S LOBBY (France)

Anne K. Ream
THE VOICES AND FACES PROJECT (USA)

Agnete Strøm
International Liaison
THE WOMEN’S FRONT (Norway)

Zandra Kanakaris, President
Olga Persson, Secretary-General
UNIZON (Sweden)

Isla MacGregor
WHISTLEBLOWERS TASMANIA (Australia)

Lisa Wiesbaden (Germany)

Lynda Dearlove
CEO
WOMEN@THEWELL (United Kingdom)

Trine Porret Randahl Larsen
President
WOMEN’S COUNCIL IN DENMARK (Denmark)

Rada Borič
Sanja Juras
Durdica Kolarec
Mirjana Kucer
Biserka Momcinovic
Nela Pamukovic
WOMEN’S NETWORK OF CROATIA (Croatia)

Edite Kalnina
Board Member
WOMEN’ S NGOS COOPERATION NETWORK (Latvia)

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