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lundi 5 juin 2006
Dear Chancellor Merkel
May 23, 2006
Dear Chancellor Merkel :
We are sending you this letter, as well as a copy of the petition, “Buying Sex is not a Sport,” complete with signatures and signers’ country of origin, organized by the international NGO, the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW). The petition was launched on 25 January 2006 and closed on 20 May 2006, gathering over 60,000 signatures from 125 countries.
We are urging your government to implement international agreements agreed to by Germany and other countries participating in the World Cup Games when they ratified the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime. The UN Protocol standards establish a link between the exploitation of prostitution and trafficking, noting that the consent of a person to sexual exploitation is irrelevant. The signatures on our petition affirm that the German legal system of prostitution promotes trafficking, mainly because the legalized system of prostitution in Germany encourages the demand for prostitution that leads to trafficking by separating “forced” and “free” prostitution. This is a gift to the traffickers and to the men who will buy women in the new brothels and “sex huts” that are constructed to service many of the projected 3-4 million sports fans who will attend the Games.
We are aware that, since 2002, some forms of pimping are legal in Germany. We also know that German law considers trafficking as only a trans-border issue which, in the context of Shengen, is out of touch with the ease with which women and children can be transported into many countries in Europe.
Germany also agreed to a resolution at the 2005 Council on the Status of Women (CSW) meeting asking countries to “eliminate the demand” for all forms of exploitation, including sexual exploitation. Unfortunately, what the world is witnessing in Germany as the World Cup Games approach is a massive promotion of prostitution and trafficking, with new brothels and sex huts proliferating and the sex industry recruiting women for prostitution from all over the world. Although other countries have promoted the sex industry and prostitution at various sports events, the German promotion of prostitution is unparalleled because of your legalized sex industry.
As women who work with and for the most vulnerable women from all over the world – those who are sexually exploited — we do not accept that some women will be sacrificed because they allegedly consent to prostitution and others will be allegedly “saved” because they are forced. This distinction puts a German-grade stamp on the bodies of all women in prostitution certifying that some are free to be used and others are not. This violates standards of gender equality by giving potential sports fans who will buy women in the sex venues, the legal and moral permission to treat women as sexual commodities to be bought and sold.
In signing our petition, many men and women from around the world reject this use and abuse of women as sexual commodities. We want Germany to understand that many citizens of the world refuse its institutionalizing of sexual exploitation.
We understand that you as Chancellor cannot change the laws of your country a few weeks before the competition. But we ask you to issue a public statement discouraging the use of women in prostitution during the World Cup Games and to question the legal system on which prostitution in Germany is built.
Janice Raymond, International Co-Director, CATW
Malka Marcovich, Director for Europe, CATW
On Sisyphe, May 20, 2006
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