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Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet oppose decriminalisation of prostitution

Los Angeles: Actresses Meryl Streep, Lena Dunham, Kate Winslet and Anne Hathaway have opposed a human rights group's proposal to decriminalise sex trade.

Meryl Streep. Pic/AFP
Meryl Streep. Pic/AFP 

The stars are opposing the "Draft Policy on Sex Work" of Amnesty International, which posits that all consensual sexual conduct between adults, which excludes acts that involve coercion, deception, threats, or violence, is entitled to protection from state interference, said The Hollywood Reporter.

The report, scheduled to be presented next month at an Amnesty meeting in Dublin, argues that the ongoing criminalisation of the sex trade leads only to more "harassment and violence, including ill-treatment (of sex workers) at the hands of police."

A letter addressed to the leaders of Amnesty, signed by 400 individuals and organisations, including Streep, Dunham, Winslet, Hathaway, Emily Blunt, Allison Williams, Emma Thompson, Lisa Kudrow, begs to differ.

"The signatories below represent a wide breadth of national and international human rights advocates, women's rights organisations, faith-based and secular organisations and concerned individuals," the letter reads.

"(We are) deeply troubled by Amnesty's proposal to adopt a policy that calls for the decriminalisation of pimps, brothel owners and buyers of sex, the pillars of a USD 99 billion global sex industry."

According to the letter, any sanctioning by the state could lead to "a system of gender apartheid ... (in which women) whose lives are shaped by absence of choice are ... set apart for consumption by men and for the profit of their pimps, traffickers and brothel owners."

A spokesman for Amnesty International said, "Sex workers are particularly vulnerable to human rights violations. This is an important issue that provokes a wide range of responses. We are still in the process of consultation and no decisions have been made."

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