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 McNamara (Halverson)

Vice President and Director of the International Centre on Sexual Exploitation

Haley McNamara (formerly Halverson) is the Director of the International Centre on Sexual Exploitation in the UK, and a Vice President at the U.S. based National Center on Sexual Exploitation. She leads international efforts and joint campaigns to improve policies and education among global governing bodies, citizenry, and corporations regarding the full web of sexual exploitation issues. Her advocacy work has contributed to policy improvements in social media, online advertising, retail, and hotel industries. She has advocated at the United Nations, led international coalition campaigns, presented to Danish, Croatian, Colombian and Rwandan government officials, and more

She is a former member of the Washington DC Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect. 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 has provided training to Arlington County Child & Family Services on the social media grooming, recruitment, and advertising for sex trafficking. She has a Master of Arts in Government from Johns Hopkins University where she received honors for her thesis regarding the online commercial sexual exploitation marketplace.

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 a cultural media outlet. 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, Washington Examiner, 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 ViolenceShe has also contributed to a digital middle school curriculum regarding the links between sex trafficking and pornography as well as the public health impacts of sex trafficking.

Further Reading

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