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UN Report Calls for Legalization of Adults Having Sex with Kids, Calling It ‘Progressive Autonomy’

An organisation associated with the United Nations (UN) is calling for all types of drug use and sexual activity to be decriminalised, including sex with minors. The International Committee of Jurists’ report entitled ‘8 March Principles’, released in March, outlined “A Human Rights-Based Approach to Criminal Law Proscribing Conduct Associated with Sex, Reproduction, Drug Use, HIV, Homelessness and Poverty”. The group wants new legal principles that guide international human rights law towards decriminalisation. The report calls for all types of offences to be decriminalised, claiming that treating these moral issues as crimes is an attack on human rights. The ICJ maintains that criminal law violates human rights and the fundamental principles of criminal law itself. 

The report’s most controversial recommendation is that minors can consent to sex with adults. The report argues that “sexual conduct involving persons below the domestically prescribed minimum age of consent to sex may be consensual, in fact, if not in law.” In addition, the ICJ opposes any restrictions on LGBT and trans “rights” in several countries, stating: “No one may be held criminally liable for conduct or status based on their gender identity or gender expression.” The report also calls for all laws forbidding “sex work” to be repealed.

Critics argue that legalising prostitution often involves sex trafficking, in which victims are exploited and deceived into believing they are performing “work”. The group also opposes all restrictions on abortion, writing: “Criminal law may not proscribe abortion. Abortion must be taken entirely out of the purview of the criminal law.” 

UNAIDS recently stated in a blog post that the continued overuse of criminal law by governments and the arbitrary and discriminatory criminal laws “have led to a number of human rights violations”, and that they perpetuate stigma, harmful gender stereotypes and discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation. The ICJ and UNAIDS have not commented on the criticisms since the report was released.

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