Greetings from The Slave Detective,
Founded in 1990, the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) is the largest alliance of women’s non-governmental associations in the European Union with a steadily increasing membership. The EWL currently consists of member organisations in all 27 EU Member States and three of the four official-candidate countries as well as 21 European-wide member organisations working on very diverse areas and activities. The EWL represents an overall of more than 2500 organisations.
In Brussels, (30 May 2012) Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from nine countries and all political groups gathered together in support of the European Women’s Lobby’s campaign against prostitution around sporting events.
In a message to athletes, officials, fans, journalists and decision-makers ahead of the London Olympics and the UEFA European Football Championships in Poland and Ukraine, the 20 MEPs held up red cards which read ‘Be a sport. Keep it fair… Say NO to prostitution.’
The produced a smart little film in the process which is well worth circulating.
The point here is that MEP’s are looking to encourage the Swedish model where trafficked women’s numbers have dropped significantly. I have blogged about the differences before.
On The EWL’s page there is a petition, (which a long way from law making) looking to ban prostitution in Europe. It has the backing of a large number of MEP’s who have put their name to this lobby. Amongst them Mary Honeyball (UK), Fiona Hall (UK) Claude Moraes (UK) and Nessa Childers (Ireland), Gay Mitchell (Ireland), Mairead McGuinness (Ireland), Phil Prendergast (Ireland) all representing Great Britain and Ireland.
There are 31 MEP’s signed up to this action. This puts them in direct conflict with legislation in Countries like The Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Austria and Switzerland who all have legalised Prostitution. It was Switzerland who had the most forced Brazilians arriving there in my last blog!
So where do we go from here?
The movement posted again in December 2012 and held a conference in the European Parliament aiming at assessing 10 years of policies on prostitution in Sweden and the Netherlands. On this occasion, around 200 women’s rights NGOs, coming from 25 Member States and four other countries, unveiled their Brussels’ Call “Together for a Europe free from prostitution”.
“With the Brussels’ Call, we clearly see that the abolition of prostitution is a shared value across Europe. For all signatories of the Call, the EU policies on trafficking won’t achieve results as long as the impunity of procurers and sex-buyers is not addressed”, says Grégoire Théry, Secretary General of Mouvement du Nid France.
Take a look at the EWL’s web page. It has lots on there including a number of survivors testimonies.