||joya banerjee [ profile ]
FW: Update on PEPFAR Anti-Prostitution Loyalty Oath
Jul 12th, 2011 - 06:26:56
Great news! The "anti-prostitution loyalty oath" requiring
organizations that receive US funds to declare in a statement that
they oppose prostitution has been rescinded!
This ridiculous and counter-intuitive "oath" was imposed by the Bush
regime and renewed when he re-authorized PEPFAR in 2008 (pre-Obama).
Even organizations working directly with sex workers on issues such as
HIV, STIs, police persecution, decriminalization, etc. were forced to
sign the pledge. GYCA was asked to sign the pledge as well, but we
Courts ruled that the "pledge" was unconstitutional and violated the
1st amendment free speech rights. Unfortunately the ruling does not
apply to organizations outside of the US.
From: Folkers, Greg (NIH/NIAID) [E] [mailto:GFOLKERS (at) niaid.nih.gov]
Sent: Thursday, July 07, 2011 04:28 PM
Subject: Update on PEPFAR Anti-Prostitution Loyalty Oath
Yesterday, the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled
that the United States government cannot require U.S. organizations
that receive foreign assistance to fight HIV/AIDS globally to denounce
prostitution. CHANGE applauds this decision as a step toward advancing
the rights of persons who face stigma and expanding equal access to
care. CHANGE would also like to congratulate our colleagues at
Alliance for Open Society International and Pathfinder International
who initiated the lawsuit in 2005, and the Global Health Council and
InterAction who were later added as plaintiffs.
The policy, also known as the anti-prostitution pledge policy or the
"anti-prostitution loyalty oath," is a provision in the 2003 United
States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act
(Leadership Act), legislation passed by Congress that required
organizations receiving U.S. funds to fight HIV/AIDS globally to adopt
a specific organization-wide policy opposing prostitution. The
provision was not removed by reauthorization legislation passed by
Congress and signed by President Bush in 2008, and remains in place.
Global health advocacy groups like CHANGE have criticized the law
because it does nothing to advance its stated goals of defeating
HIV/AIDS and fighting the trafficking of persons. Instead, the policy
actually weakens the best HIV prevention efforts among sex workers,
and exacerbates stigma and discrimination against already marginalized
While the ruling only blocks application of the policy to U.S.-based
organizations, foreign organizations and those they serve are left
unprotected from its imposition of speech. Given that part of the
Obama Administrations global AIDS strategy includes efforts to
advance the rights of populations that face stigmaincluding sex
workers and men who have sex with menand expand equal access to care,
CHANGE is calling on the administration to do the right thing and
refrain from enforcing the anti-prostitution pledge policy requirement
against U.S.-based and foreign organizations.
For more information on the impact of the anti-prostitution pledge and
resources on sex workers, HIV/AIDS, and human rights, please see the
CHANGEs press release on the ruling, Womens Health Rights Advocates
Applaud Court Ruling Against Bush-era HIV/AIDS Policy Against Sex
Workers, July 6, 2011.
CHANGEs policy brief, Implications of U.S. Policy Restrictions for
HIV Programs Aimed at Commercial Sex Workers, August 2008.
Report by CHANGE and American University Washington College of Law,
Human Trafficking, HIV/AIDS, and the Sex Sector: Human Rights for All,
Associate for Advocacy and Outreach
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