Liebe Kanzlerin Merkel ...

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To the Right Honourable Dr. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany 

Dear Chancellor Merkel, 

2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in September 1995. 

In connection with the United Nations Commission on the Status on Women and the commemoration of the Beijing Platform for Action, hundreds of organisations working for the promotion and protection of equality for women are in New York to assess and discuss the progress made for women and girls’ rights in the past 20 years. 

Among the challenges to equality for women are many forms of discrimination against women, their poverty and their sexual exploitation which underpins their lack of status and opportunities worldwide. 

It is in this context that we ask you to ensure that Germany will finally ratify the UN human rights Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others. This Convention was approved by the General Assembly in its resolution 317 (IV) of 2 December 1949 and entered into force on 25 July 1951. Its ratification by Germany is long overdue. 

We would also like to draw your attention to the European Parliament Resolution of 26 February 2014 on sexual exploitation and prostitution and its impact on gender equality which, in its very first article "recognises that prostitution, forced prostitution and sexual exploitation are highly gendered issues and violations of human dignity, contrary to human rights principles, among which gender equality, and therefore contrary to the principles of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, including the goal and the principle of gender equality". 

In addition, we respectfully ask that you to take into consideration the Resolution “Prostitution, trafficking and modern slavery in Europe,” adopted on the 8th of April 2014 by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and in particular its explicit recommendation for States to “consider criminalising the purchase of sexual services, based on the Swedish model, as the most effective tool for preventing and combating trafficking in human beings". 

Finally, we ask you to honour, support and reliably and responsibly implement the 

  • “Report of the Working Group on Contemporary Forms of Slavery of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities.” from 6 March 1991 
  • UN Resolution 40/103 “Prevention of Prostitution” passed on 13 December 1985 
  • UN Economic and Social Council resolutions 1988/34 of 27 May 1988 
  • Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly 
  • Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (“Palermo Protocol”) 

Seeing these international human rights agreements honoured in a country as rich and important as Germany is a vital step for women’s rights to a safe and free and equal life. A disregard of these basic principles by a country like Germany sets a sad example worldwide. 

The world is watching whether Germany will reverse its legislation that, according to your own official country reports, has had “hardly any measureable positive impact” on the lives of women in prostitution nor reduced the criminal trafficking of women into the sex industry.” 

We therefore call on you as one of the most influential and important leaders in the world, to place the promotion of women’s rights, guaranteed by internationally binding laws and conventions, at the top of your agenda. 

We thank you, Chancellor Merkel, for your careful consideration to these urgent matters. 

Sincerely yours, 

Kathleen Barry, Ph.D. 
Professor Emerita of Penn State University 
ABOLISH PROSTITUTION NOW (USA/International) 

ABOLITION 2014 (Germany) 

ACTION AGAINST VIOLENCE AND EXPLOITATION, INC. (ACTVE) ( Philippines) 

Ruchira Gupta 
Founder and President 
APNE AAP WOMEN WORLDWIDE (India) 

ASSOCIAZIONE DORAD (Italy) 

ASSOCIAZIONE IROKO ONLUS (Italy) 

BAGONG KAMALAYAN SURVIVORS GROUP (Philippines) 

Lidia Balogh (Hungary) 

Anna Betlen (Hungary) 

Inge Hauschildt-Schoen 
BI-GEGEN-BORDELL (Germany) 

Julie Bindel (United Kingdom) 

Vednita Carter 
Founder and Executive Director 
BREAKING FREE (USA) 

BUKLOD NG KABABAIHAN (Prostitution Survivors) (Philippines) 

Iliana Stoicheva
National Coordinator 
BULGARIAN WOMEN'S LOBBY (Bulgaria) 

Twiss Butler (USA) 

Kristina Misiniene 
CARITAS (Lithuania) 

Sonja Lokar
Executive Director
CEE NETWORK FOR GENDER ISSUES (Slovenia) 

Teodora Krumova
Deputy Chair 
CENTER AMALIPE (Bulgaria) 

Silvia Chejter 
CENTRO DE ENCUENTROS CULTURA Y MUJER (Argentina) 

CHICAGO ALLIANCE AGAINST SEXUAL EXPLOITATION (USA) 

Marie-Noëlle Bas 
CHIENNES DE GARDE (France) 

Aiyoung Choi 
Advisory Council – CATW (USA) 

Taina Bien-Aimé 
Executive Director 
COALITION AGAINST TRAFFICKING IN WOMEN (USA/International) 

Jean Enriquez 
Executive Director 
COALITION AGAINST TRAFFICKING IN WOMEN - ASIA PACIFIC 

Teresa C. Ulloa Ziáurriz
Regional Director 
COALITION AGAINST TRAFFICKING IN WOMEN – LATIN AMERICA & CARIBBEAN 

Asunción Miura 
COMISIÓN PARA LA INVESTIGACIÓN DE MALOS TRATOS A MUJERES (Spain)

Diane Matte 
Coordinatrice 
CONCERTATION DES LUTTES CONTRE L’EXPLOITATION SEXUELLE (La CLES)(Canada) 

CONSEIL DES FEMMES FRANCOPHONES DE BELGIQUE (Belgium) 

Anik Raskin 
Chargée de Direction 
CONSEIL NATIONAL DES FEMMES DU LUXEMBOURG (Luxembourg) 

Jana Chržová 
Chairperson 
CZECH WOMEN’S UNION 
CZECH WOMEN’S LOBBY (Czech Republic) 

DEVELOPMENT THROUGH ACTIVE WOMEN NETWORKING 
FOUNDATION (DAWN Foundation) (Philippines) 

Heather Harvey 
Research and Development Manager 
EAVES FOR WOMEN (United Kingdom) 

Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge 
Executive Director 
EMBRACE DIGNITY (South Africa) 

Florence Montreynaud
ENCORE FÉMINISTES (France/International) 

Yasmeen Hassan 
Global Director 
EQUALITY NOW (USA/International) 

EUROMED FEMINIST INITIATIVE IFE-EFI (France) 

Anna Zobnina
Chair
EUROPEAN NETWORK OF MIGRANT WOMEN 

Viviane Teitelbaum 
President 
EWL – EUROPEAN WOMEN'S LOBBY 

FEMMES SOLIDAIRES (France) 

Dr. Renate Klein 
FINRRAGE (Australia) 

Louise Lindfors 
President 
FREDRIKA BREMER SOCIETY (Sweden) 

Pat and Gerard Gartlan (Australia) 

Yolande Geadah (Canada) 

Agnès Baron 
Véronique Colomies 
Lilly Devasia 
Marie Luc Dordonat 
Maria Dutra 
Magdalena Franciscus 
Marie Françoise Le Brizaut 
Marie Paule Richard
Leadership Team
GOOD SHEPHERD EUROPE (BFMN) (Belgium/France/Hungary/Netherlands) 

Winifred Doherty 
GOOD SHEPHERD INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE PEACE OFFICE – NEW YORK (USA) 

Rosa Mary Corral García 
GOOD SHEPHERD - LA PROVINCIA DE ESPAÑA DEL BUEN PASTOR (Spain) 

Rosemary Kean 
GOOD SHEPHERD - PROVINCE OF GREAT BRITAIN (United Kingdom) 

Angela Ricci 
GOOD SHEPHERD - PROVINCE OF ITALY/MALTA 

Nimmi Gowrinathan, Ph.D. 
Director, Politics of Sexual Violence Initiative 
Colin Powell School, City College New York (USA) 

Marcela Virginia Rodríguez 
Argentinian Parlamentarian (2001-2013) 
GROUP JUSTICE AND GENDER - CENTRO DE ESTUDIOS INTERDISCIPLINARIOS PARA EL ESTUDIO DE POLÍTICAS PÚBLICAS - CIEPP (Argentina)

Borbála Juhász 
Chair 
HUNGARIAN WOMEN'S LOBBY (Hungary) 

Nusha Yonkova 
Anti-Trafficking Manager
IMMIGRANT COUNCIL OF IRELAND (Ireland) 

Gunhild Mewes 
Maya Schnitzler 
INITIATIVE FÜR GERECHTIGKEIT BEI SEXUELLER GEWALT (Germany) 

Inge Kleine 
INITIATIVE STOP SEXKAUF (Germany) 
ABOLITION 2014 (Germany) 

Susana Chiarotti Boero 
INSGENAR (INSTITUTO DE GENERO, DERECHO Y DESARROLLO) (Argentina) 

Toni Van Pelt 
President 
INSTITUTE FOR SCIENCE AND HUMAN VALUES (USA) 

Siusi Casaccia 
Chair 
ITALIAN WOMEN'S LOBBY (Italy) 

Prof Sheila Jeffreys 
School of Social and Political Sciences 
University of Melbourne (Australia) 

Ulrike Maier 
KARLSRUHER APPELL (Germany) 

Helle Jarlmose 
Secretary General 
KFUKS SOCIALE ARBEJDE (Denmark) 

Dr. Dalia Puidokienė 
Executive Director 
KLAIPEDA SOCIAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES CENTER (Lithuania) 

Anita Heiliger 
KOFRA MÜNCHEN (Germany) 
INITIATIVE STOP SEXKAUF (Germany) 

Pascale Maquestiau
LE MONDE SELON LES FEMMES (Belgium) 

Laure Caille
General Secretary 
LIBRES MARIANNES (France) 

Joyce Folwazcny 
Director 
MAISHA E.V.-AFRICAN WOMEN IN GERMANY (Germany) 

Lorraine Spiteri 
Chairperson 
MALTA CONFEDERATION OF WOMEN'S ORGANISATIONS (MCWO)(Malta) 

Hanne Helth 
Spokesperson 
MARCH 8 INITIATIVE (Denmark) 

Iluta Lāce 
MARTA RESOURCE CENTRE FOR WOMEN (Latvia) 

Susana Pavlou 
Director, MEDITERRANEAN INSTITUTE OF GENDER STUDIES 
President, CYPRUS WOMEN’S LOBBY (Cyprus) 

Natalja Kurčinskaja 
Director 
MISSING PERSONS' FAMILIES SUPPORT CENTRE (Lithuania) 

MOUVEMENT DU NID (France) 

Annette Lawson 
NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF WOMEN'S ORGANISATIONS (United Kingdom) 

Terry O'Neill 
President 
NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN (USA) 

Karen Ingala Smith 
Chief Executive 
NIA ENDING VIOLENCE (United Kingdom) 

NISA UL HAQQ FI BANGSAMORO (Philippines) 

Caroline Norma 
School of Global, Urban and Social Studies 
RMIT University (Australia) 

Matthew Holloway 
National Secretary 
NorMAC (Australia) 

Durdica Kolarec 
Coordinator 
PETRA NETWORK (Prevention and Elimination of Trafficking in Women)(Croatia) 

Dianne Post 
International Human Rights Attorney (USA) 

Melissa Farley, Ph.D. 
Executive Director 
PROSTITUTION RESEARCH & EDUCATION (USA) 

Janice G. Raymond, Ph.D. 
Professor Emerita, University of Massachusetts, Amherst (USA) 

Malin Roux Johansson 
Executive Director 
REALSTARS (Sweden) 

Michèle Vianès
President 
REGARDS DE FEMMES (France) 

RENEW FOUNDATION (Philippines) 

RESISTENZA FEMMINISTA (Italy) 

Lesley Rimmel
Core Faculty Member, Gender and Women's Studies Program 
Oklahoma State University (USA) 

Karin Svensson 
Chairwoman 
ROKS (Sweden) 

Laura Albu 
President 
ROMANIAN WOMEN'S LOBBY (Romania) 

Sarah Benson 
CEO 
RUHAMA (Ireland) 

Reka Safrany (Hungary) 

SAMARITANA TRANSFORMATION MINISTRIES (Philippines) 

Judge Judy Harris Kluger 
Executive Director 
SANCTUARY FOR FAMILIES (USA) 

SANLAAP (India) 

Lynn Savarese, Esq. (USA) 

Dr. Ingeborg Kraus 
SCIENTISTS FOR A WORLD WITHOUT PROSTITUTION (Germany) 

Sr. Lea Ackermann 
SOLWODI (Germany) 

Michèle Dayras 
President 
SOS SEXISME (France) 

SPACE ALLIES (Japan) 

SPACE INTERNATIONAL (Survivors of Prostitution-Abuse Calling for Enlightment) 

Alice Schwarzer (Germany)
Publisher of EMMA and essayist

Gloria Steinem (USA) 

Guðrún Jónsdóttir 
Spokesperson 
STIGAMOT (Iceland) 

Autumn Burris 
Founding Director 
SURVIVORS FOR SOLUTIONS (USA) 

Gertrud Åström 
President 
SWEDISH WOMEN'S LOBBY 

TALIKALA (Philippines) 

Christa Stolle 
Member of the Board and General Secretary 
Karen Ehlers 
Solveig Senft 
Yvonne Smidt 
Members 
TERRE DES FEMMES (Germany) 

Gunilla Hjelm 
Chairperson 
THE CENTER WOMEN OF SWEDEN (Sweden) 

Françoise Morvan 
President 
THE FRENCH COORDINATION FOR THE EUROPEAN WOMEN’S LOBBY (France) 

Anne K. Ream
THE VOICES AND FACES PROJECT (USA) 

Agnete Strøm 
International Liaison 
THE WOMEN’S FRONT (Norway) 

Zandra Kanakaris, President
Olga Persson, Secretary-General 
UNIZON (Sweden) 

Isla MacGregor
WHISTLEBLOWERS TASMANIA (Australia) 

Lisa Wiesbaden (Germany) 

Lynda Dearlove 
CEO 
WOMEN@THEWELL (United Kingdom) 

Trine Porret Randahl Larsen 
President 
WOMEN’S COUNCIL IN DENMARK (Denmark) 

Rada Borič 
Sanja Juras 
Durdica Kolarec 
Mirjana Kucer 
Biserka Momcinovic 
Nela Pamukovic 
WOMEN’S NETWORK OF CROATIA (Croatia) 

Edite Kalnina 
Board Member 
WOMEN' S NGOS COOPERATION NETWORK (Latvia) 

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