Exclusive Interview with President Carter on Women’s Media Center Live with Robin Morgan
April 30, 2014
Former President Jimmy Carter Condemns Amnesty International UK Document “Decriminalization of Sex Work” & AI Position that Pimps and Johns Should Be “Free from Government Interference”
Exclusive Interview with President Carter on Women’s Media Center Live with Robin Morgan — Carter is the First Male Guest on Global Feminist Radio Program
For Immediate Release
New York, New York — Former President Jimmy Carter has volunteered to write a letter to Amnesty International strongly condemning a draft policy proposing the decriminalization of pimps and brothel keepers, after the document was brought to his attention during an exclusive interview with Robin Morgan, author, activist, and host of Women’s Media Center Live.
“It’s inconceivable to me that Amnesty International or any other organization that respects human rights would endorse slave masters who buy young girls and put them into involuntary servitude to be sex slaves,” says Carter. “And when they go and do this with brothel owners and pimps, then to me that violates the basic principles of human rights.”
The President’s response came after Morgan asked for Carter’s advice regarding a struggle the global women’s movement and other human rights advocates are waging against Amnesty International for AI’s surprising proposal that not only decriminalizes prostituted women — which Morgan supports — but also brothel owners, pimps, and customers.
“How do we deal with the cognitive dissonance that doesn’t see that the buying and selling of a human being for sex is a violation of human rights?” Morgan asked Carter during the 15-minute telephone interview, to air and post Saturday.
Morgan recently wrote an opinion piece for CNN urging Amnesty International to “regain its soul —and realize that survivors’ rights are women’s rights are human rights.” Instead, Morgan says, Amnesty should support the Nordic Model — begun in Sweden and now under adoption by France, Belgium, Ireland, and the European Parliament — which criminalizes pimps and penalizes customers, but offers the women support programs with no penalties. Global and Change.org petitions also urge Amnesty to reject the proposal.
Carter, whose Center for Mobilizing Faith for Women Initiative urges the adoption of the Nordic Model, says for the record that he “will write directly to Amnesty International. I also will issue a public statement on this.”
Sweden, he adds, “has taken the most enlightened and the most effective position by saying that the . . . prosecution should be focused on brothel owners and pimps and male customers. This has been extremely effective by dramatically reducing the amount of prostitution in Sweden but also particularly almost eliminating the involuntary servitude of girls who are been bought into the slave trade.” Carter suggests that the U.S. also adopt the Nordic Model, “Because in the United States there are 50 girls who are arrested for every one brothel owner or pimp or male customer.”
During the interview, taped April 9, Carter also strongly recommends a new campaign to win the Equal Rights Amendment, and the U.S. ratification of CEDAW (the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women). He and Morgan also discuss the role of religion in obstructing women’s rights, sexual assault on college campuses, equal pay, and other issues.
Carter is the first male guest to appear on “Women’s Media Center Live with Robin Morgan,” since the show began two years ago. He is promoting his new book, "A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence,” which openly states that “the most serious and unaddressed worldwide challenge is the deprivation and abuse of women and girls.”
Morgan is a best-selling, award-winning author and political activist. She has appeared on “MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports” and “Jansing & Co.,” “The Charlie Rose Show,” “NBC News,” “C-SPAN,” “Good Morning America,” “The Today Show,” “CBS This Morning,” “The Tonight Show,” “Larry King Live” and numerous other programs around the world.
The Women’s Media Center works to make women and girls visible and powerful in the media through strategic programs that transform the media landscape, and that include media training, media monitoring and activism, media reports, media programs, an expert database (WMC SheSource) and special initiatives.
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