This International Day Against Trafficking in Persons we at Donor Direct Action would like to celebrate the resilient abolitionist movement that fights to end the violence and exploitation of sex trafficking and prostitution around the world. Led by survivors and activists, the movement for an end to commercial sexual exploitation and abuse has witnessed a systematic growth over recent years as more countries are adopting the Equality Model, a law that decriminalizes women in prostitution while criminalizing the buyers, pimps and profiteers. Women and girls in the sex trade are victims, not perpetrators, and their vulnerability has been heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led officials even in Germany and the Netherlands to consider closing their red light districts for good.
Despite the life-saving nature of this work, funding for front-line organizations working to abolish prostitution – the central driver of sex trafficking – is virtually non-existent. This is why in 2018 in partnership with the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women International and the survivor organization SPACE International, Donor Direct Action launched the Gloria Steinem Equality Fund to End Sex Trafficking (Equality Fund). Our Equality Fund is one of only a handful of funding sources for abolitionist groups globally. Today we support 11 frontline groups through the Equality Fund in countries including Argentina, India, Latvia, Lebanon, Nepal, Peru, South Africa, and South Korea.
The voices of survivors are critical to an understanding of the harm of the commercial sex industry. Below is a video we have made with survivors Rachel Moran (Founder, SPACE International) and Mickey Meji (Founder, Kwanele, South Africa).
Please help support the abolition of sex trafficking and prostitution. Your support is urgently needed to enable our partners around the world to continue their vital work to safeguard the rights of the most vulnerable women and girls.
Watch this video to learn more about the Equality Model and why it is more effective than the full decriminalization of the sex industry, which guarantees impunity for perpetrators – pimps, buyers and brothel owners – rather than protecting the women they exploit.
I hope you will make a contribution to the Gloria Steinem Equality Fund to End Sex Trafficking in commemoration of this International Day Against Trafficking in Persons. You can make a real difference.