Excerpt from the findings by Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, UN Special Rapporteur in Trafficking in Persons…
“In this regard, I urge the government to stop the practice of arresting persons – especially women, girls and LGBTI – engaging in prostitution. The fear of prosecution, detention and expulsion is a major obstacle for trafficked persons who want to report their traffickers and exploiters. This is the main reason why I advocate for a human rights based approach to trafficking which includes the de-criminalization of those who engage in prostitution in States where it is illegal. Such an approach would be a powerful tool to ensure that victims are not arbitrarily arrested, or no longer afraid to report human rights violations. This terrible situation which can amount to slavery was repeatedly shared with me by trafficking survivors in the country throughout my visit. In this context, I encourage law enforcement officials to use their discretion to avoid arresting sex workers as they can be potential victims of sex trafficking.”
In December of 2016 our Executive Director, Kristen participated in a closed door meeting with a few stakeholders and the Special Rapporteur from the UN. Maria Grazia Giammarinaro a decorated Judge from Italy. Ms. Giammarinaro a Special Rapporteur from the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner came to the United States, on the invite from the then President Barrack Obama, to investigate all things that have to do with Human Trafficking. The end result of this investigation can be read in the End of Visit Statement linked below.
SWOP Sacramento urges both regional and national law enforcement to listen to such educated and non-biased voices, as the United Nations, when dealing with the issues of human trafficking. For the health of our communities we too “urge the US government to stop the practice of arresting persons – especially women, girls and LGBTI – engaging in prostitution.”
(Report in its entirety)
http://OHCHR | End of visit statement, United States of America (6-16 December 2016) by Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, UN Special Rapporteur in Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?