Sport and prostitution

MEPs supporting EWL action

Anna Hedh, Sweden, S&D: ‘Prostitution constitutes a fundamental violation of women’s human rights and is a form of male violence against women. Thousands of young girls and women are at risk of sexual exploitation and human trafficking to satisfy the demand for prostitution during Olympic Games and the UEFA Euro 2012. Sporting events can never be used as an excuse to tolerate sexual exploitation. A zero tolerance for prostitution, where the purchase of the bodies of women and girls are not accepted, is the only way forward for achieving a society with equality between women and men.’

Mikael Gustafsson, Sweden, GUE: ‘Any big gathering, such as the Olympic Games, is a golden opportunity for exploiters and pimps. In such a moment it is even more important that we as politicians stand up for women’s rights and equality, for sexual freedom and choice for all women, and send a clear political signal that men should not have the right to buy access to women’s bodies for sex - that this is simply not compatible with fair play and equality.’

Nicole Kiil-Nielsen, France, Greens: ‘Prostitution is a form of violence, and doesn’t belong to a society which aspires to equality between women and men. As a feminist, I defend an ideal of society where sex doesn’t determine people’s life.’ / ‘En tant que féministe, je défends un idéal de société où le sexe ne détermine plus la vie des individus. La prostitution est une violence, et elle n’a pas sa place dans une société qui aspire à l’égalité entre les femmes et les hommes.’

Sophie Auconie, France, PPE: ‘En tant que Présidente de l’intergroupe informel « les Amis du Sport » au Parlement européen et membre de la Conférence Nationale du Sport (CNS) au nom des députés européens français, je défends les valeurs propres au sport : le respect, la solidarité, l’effort et la maîtrise de soi. La prostitution représente l’inverse de ces valeurs : c’est avant tout une violence ! Présidente de l’association Femmes au Centre, je ne peux que m’indigner contre cette atteinte aux droits des femmes et aux droits de l’Homme. Les événements sportifs européens rassembleurs que sont les JO de Londres et l’Euro 2012 en Pologne et en Ukraine ne doivent pas être la cause de l’augmentation du trafic des êtres humains destinés à la prostitution. C’est pourquoi je soutiens la campagne du Lobby européen des femmes et « donne un carton rouge à la prostitution lors des événements sportifs ».’

Ana Gomes, Portugal, S&D: ‘Raising awareness on prostitution at sporting events should be an effective way to fight against this hideous form of violence against women. I thus support EWL-sponsored 30th May event. Me, too, I consider prostitution as an obstacle to gender equality. Let’s never forget the EU Treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights state that European societies should be characterized by equality between women and men. On the contrary, Europe remains a place where one in ten women is a victim of sexual violence. So the European Union, together with civil society, must do more to change this scandal. Systematic public campaigns such as EWL’s are one great way of dealing with this subject in a comprehensive, lively and appealing way.’

Britta Thomsen, Denmark, S&D: ‘It is crucial to raise awareness about the fact that prostitution and trafficking goes hand in hand especially at the big sporting events. Europe must no longer close its eyes to this problem. I urge the European Community to take action on this matter and actively condemn this horrible violation of women.’

Emilie Turunen, Denmark, Greens: ‘Prostitution is a violation of women’s rights and health and we need to send a strong signal that we do not accept it.’

Mariya Nedelcheva, Bulgaria, EPP: ‘Cette année, il existe un réel risque de recrudescence de la traite des êtres humains à des fins de prostitution et d’exploitation sexuelle autour des Jeux Olympiques de Londres et de l’Euro-coupe UEFA 2012 qui aura lieu en Pologne et en Ukraine. Cette situation est inacceptable et nous ne pouvons nous rendre complices des réseaux criminels organisés. Aussi, nous devons avoir le courage de parler de la pénalisation des clients, car c’est bien eux qui alimentent la spirale du trafic. C’est pourquoi je soutiens la campagne du Lobby Européen des Femmes "Be a Sport, Keep it Fair, Say NO to Prostitution" et je lance un appel aux autorités polonaises et ukrainiennes pour prendre toutes les mesures nécessaires afin de s’assurer que ces manifestations sportives ne soient pas synonyme d’indignité humaine et d’exploitation sexuelle. Enfin, je m’adresse à tous les citoyens et citoyennes qui vont se rendre à ces événements pour qu’ils disent aussi NON à la prostitution.’

Antonyia Parvanova, Bulgaria, ALDE: ‘I fully support the EWL’s campaign "Together for a Europe free from prostitution". Prostitution represents one of the most severe violations of human rights and personal dignity, which unfortunately has been widely trivialized and somehow accepted by society. The phenomenon of prostitution should be analysed and tackled as one category of violence against women. We should not forget that women in prostitution are often exploited, abused both psychologically and physically and put in a position inferior to that of men. The existence of such unequal power relations is incompatible with the principles and values of equality and respect to the personal dignity enshrined in the EU’s founding treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights. It would be a moral failure on behalf of European society not to address comprehensively the phenomenon of prostitution and ignore the gruesome reality in which men pay to use women’s bodies. This is not the Europe of equality, progress and respect we aspire to live in!’

  • Eva-Britt Svensson (former MEP, Sweden, GUE-NGL)
  • Zita Gurmai (Hungary, S&D)
  • Mary Honeyball (UK, S&D)
  • Sylvie Guillaume (France, S&D)
  • Kinga Göncz (Hungary, S&D)
  • Nathalie Griesbeck (France, ALDE)
  • Marielle de Sarnez (France, ALDE)
  • Constance Le Grip (France, EPP)
  • Nessa Childers (Ireland, S&D)
  • Gay Mitchell (Ireland, EPP)
  • Mairead McGuinness (Ireland, EPP)
  • Phil Prendergast (Ireland, S&D)
  • Inês Zuber (Portugal, GUE)
  • Iratxe García Pérez (Spain, S&D)
  • Claude Moraes (UK, S&D)
  • Fiona Hall (UK, ALDE)
  • Franziska Brantner (Germany, Greens)
  • Mojka Kleva (Slovenia, S&D)
  • Marita Ulvskog (Sweden, S&D)
  • Michèle Striffler (France, EPP)
  • Christel Schaldemose (Denmark, S&D)
  • Emer Costello (Ireland, S&D)

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Loud and United to end violence against women and girls, European Women’s Lobby Conference, 6 December 2017, Brussels.

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