On 29 November, Soraya Rodríguez, MEP of Renew Europe and member of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, co-organised an event in the European Parliament on the intrinsic relationship between prostitution and trafficking in persons for the purpose of sexual exploitation. This event was an initiative of MEPs from all political groups in the European Parliament and featured representatives of the EPP, S&D, Renew Europe, Greens and the Left.
The event addressed the type of impact that different ways of regulating prostitution have on gender equality and women’s rights. To this end, the participation of different experts was: Valiant Richey, OSCE Special Representative and Coordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings; Dina Vardaramatou, Secretary-General of the European Women’s Lobby; and Héma Sibi, Incident Coordinator at CAP International.
Moreover, Marie Merklinger, a German activist, Anne Darbes, writer, and Daniella de Luca, member of the Association for the Prevention, Reinsertion and Care of Prostitutional Women (APRAMP), shared their stories and experiences as trafficking survivors.
Finally, the equality model was discussed as a possible best practice with regard to women’s rights and gender equality, with the contributions of Danielle McLaughlin, Policy and Communications Officer for the Irish NGO Ruhama; Gabriella Kärnekull Wolfe, Swedish Ombudsman againstsexual exploitation of children; and Rocío Mora Nieto, director of APRAMP.
This event brought to the spotlight the trauma and pain to which millions of women are exposed when being victims of sexual exploitation, a reality to which neither Europe nor the legal systems of the different Member States should turn their backs on.
In addition, the discussion was framed in the draft report, to be carried out by the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality of the European Parliament (FEMM) “Regulation of prostitution in the EU: its cross-border implications and impact on gender equality and women’s rights.”