Amnesty International, in its May 26, 2016 policy paper titled "Amnesty International Policy on State Obligations to Respect, Protect, and Fulfil the Human Rights of Sex Workers," available from, wrote:

“Amnesty International considers that to protect the rights of sex workers, it is necessary not only to repeal laws which criminalize the sale of sex, but also to repeal those which make the buying of sex from consenting adults or the organization of sex work (such as prohibitions on renting premises for sex work) a criminal offence…

The fact that various aspects of sex work are treated as criminal conduct in many countries means that sex workers cannot rely on support or protection from the police. For many sex workers, reporting crimes experienced during the course of their work means putting themselves at risk of criminalization and/or penalization on the basis of their involvement in sex work, seizure of their earnings, potential loss of their livelihood through related sanctions and/or monitoring by the police to detect their clients. As a result, sex workers are frequently unable to seek redress for crimes committed against them, thereby offering impunity to perpetrators. In addition, the stigmatized and criminalized status that sex workers experience gives law enforcement officials in many countries the scope to harass, extort and perpetrate physical and sexual violence against them, also with impunity. When they are not threatened with criminalization/penalization, sex workers are better able to collaborate with law enforcement to identify perpetrators of violence and abuse, including human trafficking.”

May 26, 2016