On one side, such heavy hitters as Attorney General Lisa Madigan stood with former prostitutes and others protesting an Amnesty International USA discussion on decriminalizing sex work.

On the other side, a handful of current prostitutes, sex workers as they call themselves, stood in demonstration of support for the possible policy shift by the human rights group.

Amnesty’s debate over the issue at its annual Human Rights Conference on Friday night drew both groups to the downtown JW Marriott.

“It is an ironic situation when we find ourselves protesting an organization that for many years has been at the global forefront of the human rights movement,” Madigan, whose office works to combat child pornography and sexual trafficking, said to cheers.

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