top of page

Montreal Call
for the Abolition of prostitution

We, survivors of the prostitution system, frontline workers, feminist activists, academics, union representatives, lawyers, civil society organisations and citizens from more than 35 countries gathered in Montréal, call for the abolition of the prostitution system in Canada and all-over the world.

As survivors, we call upon States and International institutions to listen to us. We demand that our voices be heard when we ask for the recognition of prostitution as a form of violence against women, concrete alternatives to prostitution and the end of impunity for our exploiters: pimps and buyers of sexual acts.

As indigenous women, women of colour and migrant women, we call upon States and International institutions to listen to us. Despite the relentless effort to divide us and the impact of the gendered colonialism, racism and poverty that pervades our lives and communities, we refuse to abandon our sisters and our future generations to the colonial sexist violence that is prostitution. We demand States and International Institutions recognise the importance and value of our land, culture and bodies and to commit to the abolition of prostitution and all forms of violence against women and children.

As feminist organisations and activists, we call upon States and International Institutions to listen to us, by implementing a feminist approach to address the prostitution system, whose existence is deeply incompatible with a society of equality between men and women. A State or institution that defines itself as feminist can never develop policies aiming at organising prostitution: all efforts must be directed on its abolition.

As frontline workers, who witness and respond to the extreme levels of mental and physical violence faced by women in prostitution, we call upon States and International institutions to listen to us. We need public policies that are not limited to risk-reduction, but provide comprehensive exit pathways designed by the women in prostitution and survivors while holding perpetrators accountable. 

As trade union representatives and activists in favour of social justice for women in vulnerable situations, some of whom have experienced precariousness, we know more than anyone else that prostitution is rooted in socio-economic discrimination, so we call on governments and international institutions to listen to us. We refuse to live in a neo-liberal world that normalises the commodification of women, creates favourable conditions for criminals to recruit and sexually exploit women, and keeps them in precarious situations. Prostitution is neither sex nor work, but the worst alliance between patriarchy and ultra-capitalism. We don't want prostitution, we want equality and social justice.

As lawyers and legal experts who uphold international Human Rights law and principles, we call upon Member States and International Institutions to listen to us. We demand that all Member States ratify and fully implement the UN Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others, the CEDAW Convention and Palermo Protocol, and respect their obligation to discourage the demand by penalising the purchase of sexual acts. We call upon Member States and International Institutions to follow all the recommendations expressed by the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women and Girls in her Report on prostitution to the Human Rights Council.

All together, we call for the implementation of all the pillars of the Equality Model, in Canada and all over the world: the decriminalisation of all women in prostitution, the provision of comprehensive exit pathways, the criminalisation of the purchase of sexual acts and of all forms of pimping, as well as the implementation of awareness-raising strategies.

It is time for a society of equality and social justice. It is time for a society without prostitution.

It is time to put Equality in Action!


Signatories of the Montreal Call: 

1000 Möjligheter, Accion Contra la Trata, Apne App Women Worldwide, Associazione Aura, Associazione IROKO onlus, Breaking Free, Bridge2Future, CALACS Châteauguay, CALACS coup de coeur, CALACS L'Ancrage, CAP International, CIMTM Comisión para la Investigación de Malos Tratos a Mujeres, Concertation des luttes contre l’exploitation sexuelle (CLES), CATW Coalition Against Trafficking In Women, Comisión Unidos Vs Trata, Courage For Freedom, Dar Hosea, Democracy Development Center, ENoMW European Network of Migrant Women, EVA Center, Exit Prostitution Association, Federal Association Nordic Model - for the Implementation of the Equality Model in Germany, Femkhoda, Femua, Fondation Scelles, Frontline Women's Fund, Fundación Empodérame, Industrial Gender Committe for Advertising, INGI Crisis Center for Women, Iniciativa Ciudadana Tibabita, isala asbl, Kafa (enough) Violence & Exploitation, KSPSC (Klaipeda Social and Psychological Support Center), Maison d'hébergement le Rivage de La Baie et du Bas-Saguenay, Maiti Nepal, Marta Centre, Mouvement du Nid, National Union of Journalists of Ukraine, O Ninho, People serving Girls at Risk, Persons Against Non-State Torture, Pislyazavtra, Reden/KFUKs Sociale Arbejde, Resistanta, Ruhama, Sawa, SISTERS - für den Ausstieg aus der Prostitution! e.V., Solwodi, South Kolkata Hamari Muskan, Stígamót, Strength in SISterhood Society (SIS), Swedish Women's Lobby, Talita, Talita Asia, Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter, VCASE, VT Media & Trade, Wahine Toa Rising, Wake Up Brother, WDI Quebec, WikiProject Feminism Ukraine, Women @ The Well, ГО Кихвська Школа Рівних Можливостей, Резистанта, Фем ЮА (спільнота)

Share the Montreal Call:

bottom of page