The European Convention on Human Rights safeguards the human rights of all human beings from most serious life-threatening treatments such as torture, slavery and forced labour. Yet, even today many women, girls and men are still trapped in prostitution in Europe, and face inadmissible situations of degrading treatments and trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
Factors that make persons to enter prostitution are various: illegal immigration, financial vulnerability, addiction, social exclusion, homelessness, abuse and human trafficking. Nevertheless, survivors of prostitution demonstrate great strength of resilience and courage and are able to quit prostitution.
Survivors of prostitution not only need to leave a situation of prostitution, but also toxic environment. They however find poor support from public institutions and limited help from centers and associations. They must cope with additional obstacles to their reinsertion, from economic vulnerability to social exclusion, physical, mental and psychic impairment, including sever post-traumatic stress disorders. They will face prejudices when it comes to their access to housing, to the labour market, to education and long-life learning, and to bank loans. Such discriminatory treatment can create a viscious circle, leaving prostitution survivors vulnerable to addiction, depression, suicide tendencies, or even to be trapped again in various situations of exploitation.
The Parliamentary Assembly should examine the best practices in supporting the reintegration across the Council of Europe member States of prostitution survivors and draw up recommendations for supporting victims who wish to exit prostitution.