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Jimmy Carter Urges Amnesty International to Reject Proposal to Decriminalize Pimps

May 12, 2014

Former President Jimmy Carter Urges Amnesty International to Reject Proposal to Decriminalize Pimps, Brothel Owners

Statement Comes After Exclusive Interview with Carter on Women’s Media Center Live with Robin Morgan

New York, New York — Former President Jimmy Carter has urged Amnesty International to “reject the proposed policy on the legalization of sex work” because it would “undermine important gains being made to generate consensus around the urgent goal of reducing this form of sexual exploitation.”

In an Open Letter dated May 5 to Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International, Carter wrote the “most important policy change will be to increase penalties for pimps and consumers and to decriminalize victims and survivors. The line between consensual and exploitative sex work has become almost meaningless.”

The Amnesty International document was first brought to Carter’s attention during an exclusive interview aired and posted last month with author, activist, and host of “Women’s Media Center Live with Robin Morgan. Carter and Morgan focused on violations of women’s international human rights, including trafficking and prostitution. During the conversation, Carter learned for the first time of Amnesty International’s controversial pending policy to decriminalize pimps and brothel keepers--and the former president immediately pledged, on air, to write a public statement opposing it.

Julie Burton, executive producer of Women’s Media Center Live with Robin Morgan,” commented, “We are proud to produce the kind of journalism that truly informs the public, making women’s reality visible so that people of good will can understand crucial issues; that’s why we’re ‘talk radio with a brain.’ ”

The global women’s movement and sex-industry survivor organizations—all of whom support decriminalizing prostituted women—have also been petitioning Amnesty International not to adopt the proposal, which decriminalizes brothel owners, pimps, and customers as well.

Morgan recently wrote an opinion piece for CNN urging Amnesty International to support the Nordic Model — initiated 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.

Carter, who has a new book, "A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power,”   strongly supports the Nordic Model.

“Women’s Media Center Live with Robin Morgan” airs Saturdays on CBS radio (WJFK 1580 AM) at 11:00 a.m. ET and posts worldwide online at and iTunes (see Facebook and Twitter). Views expressed on do not necessarily represent the Women’s Media Center.

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.

For more information, contact Cristal Williams Chancellor, senior producer, “Women’s Media Center Live with Robin Morgan,” or 202-587-1636.