The Amnesty International debate on prostitution in Nijmegen, Netherlands


On February 25, Amnesty International Studentgroup Nijmegen organized a debate about prostitution in the Netherlands, entitled: “Prostitution and how to deal with it”. The event, which was hosted by the University of Nijmegen, was attended by 50 students, who participated in a lively debate about how to analyze and view prostitution, whether or not it is a form of violence against women and how to regard the buyers of sexual acts.

The event invitation can be viewed here:

Speakers of the evening were:

Karin Werkman, researcher and representative of the Institute for Feminism & Human Rights.

Lyle Muns, male sex worker and representative of PROUD, an recently founded interest group for sex workers in the Netherlands.


Testimonies to the Canadian parliament available online



The transcripts of the testimonies by Gunilla S. Ekberg to the Canadian parliament on Bill C-36: ‘An Act to amend the Criminal Code in response to the Supreme Court of Canada decision in Attorney General of Canada v. Bedford and to make consequential amendments to other Acts’ are available online in the English and French languages. They can be accessed via the following links:

30 October 2014 (Senate):



9 July 2014 (House of Commons):



Lebanon: KAFA launches new campaign on prostitution and trafficking


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On September 15, the Lebanese women’s organisation KAFA, (enough) Violence & Exploitation, launched their new national campaign. It is titled: ‘Fight Prostitution, Fight Trafficking’. At the conference, KAFA presented a new research report on men who purchase sexual services in Lebanon. The research report is available here. Gunilla Ekberg was one of the main speakers at the conference. Below you can find the conference flyer. Visit KAFA’s website for more information.

KAFA 2014 flyer

Norway: Evaluation of ban on purchase of a sexual service published


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The evaluation by an independent team of researchers of the Norwegian legislation that prohibits the purchase of a sexual service is now available. As was the case with the evaluation of the Swedish legislation in 2010, the evaluators conclude the following:
1. The ban on purchasing a sexual service has reduced demand for sex and thus contributes to reduce the extent of prostitution in Norway.
2. The enforcement of the law, in combination with the laws against human trafficking and pimping, makes Norway a less attractive country for prostitution-based trafficking than what would have been the case if the law had not been adopted.
3. Furthermore, the economic conditions for prostitution in Norway are reduced following the implementation of the law.
4. These effects are in line with the intentions of the law and are, thus, not considered as unintended side effects.
5. This report does not find any evidence of more violence against persons in prostitution after the ban on buying a sexual service entered into force.

You can find the evaluation report here.
The lead researcher gave a short interview on Norwegian television here.

UK: Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict

Anna Edman-Bastos of the Institute for Feminism and Human Rights was invited to attend the End Sexual Violence in Conflict event at the British Embassy in Stockholm on 11 June 2014.

The event consisted of a screening of Kvinna till Kvinna’s short documentary called ‘Women’s War’ followed by a panel debate with representatives from Kvinna till Kvinna and the Swedish Red Cross chaired by the British Embassy Head of Mission, Alison Thorpe. There were also social entrepreneurs from various countries who provided insights to their businesses and their causes.

The event was part of the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict hosted in London on 10-13 June, 2014, and co-chaired by the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, William Hague.

Canada: Testimony to Justice and Human Right Committee about Bill C-36



On July 9, 2014, Gunilla S. Ekberg testified to the Canadian House of Common Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights about Bill C-36.

Read her written submission under Resources on our website.

You can also see her video link testimony if you go to the following link, and click on July 9.

EU: IF&HR to participate in the EU Civil Society e-Platform against trafficking in human beings


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Recently, the European Union adopted two important new instruments addressing trafficking in human beings: Directive 2011/36/EU on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims, and the European Commission Communication titled The EU Strategy towards the Eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings 2012-2016.

As a concrete action to strengthen the role of civil society in addressing the challenges of trafficking in human beings in the EU, the  recently adopted Strategy sees to the establishment of an EU Platform of civil society organizations working on victim protection and assistance in Member States.

The Platform’s main objective is to serve as a forum for civil society to engage at the EU level and exchange experiences in order to enhance coordination and cooperation amongst key actors.

Our organization has been selected to participate in the EU Civil Society e-Platform against Trafficking in Human Beings.

Canada: Consultation on new prostitution legislation published



Yesterday, the Canadian Department of Justice published the results of a public consultation on prostitution related crimes. The consultation received more than 30 000 responses.

56% of respondents favour that those who purchase a sexual act should be criminalized;
66% believe that those who are prostituted should not be criminalized;
62% think that it should be crime to benefit from the prostitution of an adult.

The consultation can be found on the website of the Department of Justice

Canada: New course at the University of Winnipeg takes on tough questions of sex trade

This month a new course was taught at the University of Winnipeg, Canada. Titled ‘Sex Trafficking: Global to Local’ the course, according to an article in the Winnipeg Free Press, takes the discussion to a whole new level.

It’s being taught by Gunilla Ekberg, a human rights lawyer who helped draft Sweden’s 1999 prostitution legislation.

You can read the news paper article here: New course at U of W takes on tough questions of sex trade.

Canada: Open letter calls for Nordic approach to prostitution

An open letter calling for the Nordic approach to prostitution in Canada has garnered over 800 signatures. The letter was published here.

The letter explains that Canada should not legalize buying, pimping and profiting and Canada should take a stand on prostitution in line with women’s equality. Canada’s policy on prostitution needs to be placed in a women’s equality framework, because the overwhelming majority of the persons in prostitution are women, often from marginalized backgrounds. Aboriginal women are overrepresented in prostitution.

“Prostitution is a practice in which women’s subordination to men is inherent and lived out repeatedly. Consequently, we are writing to you today to urge you to support the “Nordic approach” to legislation on prostitution for Canada, because it includes legislation, intensive social supports, and public education strategies, all designed to reduce and eliminate prostitution”.