May 9, 2016

Action Alert: You Can Send a Message to Amnesty International

What is a Thunderclap?

Thunderclap is a tool that enables us to create a “virtual flashmob” in order to raise awareness about an issue. When you sign up you are scheduling the social media message “Prostitution is Sexploitation; Decriminalizing Helps Pimps and Sex Buyers! #NoAmnesty4Pimps #AmnestyInternational” to be posted on your Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr. These messages will all be posted on the same day, at the same time, in order to create a massive effect! This simple action can help raise awareness and change the conversation. Be sure to click “Join this Thunderclap” above to participate! You can also go to our Thunderclap page here.

What is the Cause?

Amnesty International has developed a policy document supporting full decriminalization of prostitution, and is expected to conduct a final vote on the policy next month. Full decriminalization of prostitution is one of the world’s most disastrous approaches to the sex trade because: 1) it is a gift to pimps and sex buyers allowing them to carry out their activities as mere “sex business operators” and “customers,” and 2) it normalizes the sexual violence and exploitation inherent to prostitution as a form of “work.” Amnesty’s support of decriminalized prostitution will undermine the human rights of persons in the sex trade (the majority of whom are females), and give impunity to perpetrators of sexploitation.

If prostitution is fully decriminalized—meaning there are no laws banning or regulating pimping, sex buying or selling (for those 18 years old and above, Amnesty is quick to clarify)—then no prostitution laws are there to be broken, no crimes are committed, and all those concerned can go merrily about the business of buying and selling human beings for sex.

But we believe sexual exploitation is nobody’s “job.” We believe that prostitution is a system of sexual exploitation that requires abolition, not social sanction. We believe prostitution is a system whereby individuals are supplied as public, sexual commodities, which preys upon vulnerable members of society, and is rife with violence against those sold for sex.

Prostitution, sex for money or something of value, is not only itself a form of sexual coercion and exploitation, but it also begets even more forms of sexual exploitation, like sex trafficking. A 2012 study published in World Development found that countries with legalized prostitution are associated with higher human trafficking inflows than countries where prostitution is prohibited. This should not surprise us. Once the law sanctions an activity, demand for that activity increases, and men, women, and children are trafficked in order to meet that demand.

Join us in fighting for the abolition of sexual exploitation!

Haley Halverson

Vice President of Advocacy and Outreach

Haley Halverson is the Vice President of Advocacy and Outreach at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation where she develops and executes national campaigns to change policies and raise awareness. Most notably, she promotes corporate social responsibility by constructing annual activism campaigns like the Dirty Dozen List, which names 12 mainstream private companies that facilitate sexual exploitation. Her advocacy work has contributed to instigating policy improvements in the native online advertising, retail, and hotel industries.

She is a member of the Washington DC Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect, September 2018-2019. This Committee advises DC Mayor Muriel Bowser on the multi-faceted continuum of the District of Columbia’s child welfare services, including prevention, early intervention, treatment, and sources of permanency.

Haley regularly speaks and writes on topics including child sexual abuse, sex trafficking, prostitution, sexual objectification, the exploitation of males, and more. She has presented before officials at the United Nations, as well as at several national symposia before influencers from the Department of Justice, Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Croatian government officials. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts at Johns Hopkins University.

Previously, Haley served for two years as Director of Communications for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation where she oversaw strategic messaging development, press outreach, email marketing, and social media marketing.

Prior to working at NCOSE, Haley wrote for Media Research Center. Haley graduated from Hillsdale College (summa cum laude) with a double major, and conducted a senior thesis on the abolitionist argument regarding prostitution. During her studies, she studied abroad at Oxford University and established a background in policy research through several internships in the DC area.

Haley has appeared on, or been quoted in, several outlets including the New York Times, NBC’s The Today Show, BBC News, New York Post, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, Fox News, San Francisco Chronicle, the Washington Post, Yahoo News, Voice of America, Dr. Drew Midday Live, The DeMaio Report, the New York Daily News, the Washington Examiner, USA Radio Network, the Washington Times, CBC News, The Rod Arquette Show, The Detroit News, Lifezette, The Christian Post, Lifeline with Neil Boron, EWTN News Nightly, KCBS San Francisco Radio, LifeSiteNews, The Drew Mariano Show on Relevant Radio, News Talk KGVO, and American Family News.

She has written op-eds for the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, FoxNews.com, Townhall.com, Darling Magazine, the Daytona-Beach News Journal, and has been published in the Journal of Internet Law and the journal Dignity: A Journal on Sexual Exploitation and Violence.

Further Reading

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