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What is the review?
Larissa Sandy does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. This is the first large-scale review of Victorian sex work laws since and presents a huge opportunity for change.
With the Victorian Labor Party platform in favour of sex work decriminalisation, the current review is considering how, not if, that can be done. But the path there is not straightforward.
The only way to adequately protect the health, safety and dignity of sex workers is to introduce full decriminalisation. The review was completed last week week and has not yet been made public.
What has covid meant?
The Andrews government is not expected to respond with a bill until next year at the earliest. Australia has three regulatory approaches to sex work: legalisation, criminalisation and decriminalisation. Victoriathe Australian Capital Territory and Queenslandhave legalised certain aspects of sex work under licensing schemes.
This means that sex work is only legal if it takes place within licensing and registration frameworks. : How the 'National Cabinet of Whores' is leading Australia's coronavirus response for sex workers. South AustraliaWestern Australia and Tasmania have full or partial criminalisation. In Tasmania for example, private sex work is legal, but brothels and street-based work are not.
NSW decriminalised sex work in and last year, the NT became the third jurisdiction in the world to decriminalise sex work, after New Zealand. As the Network of Sex Work Projects explains, this covers laws that criminalise sex workers, clients, third parties like business prostitute website melbourne, managers and receptionists as well as families, partners and friends living off any earnings.
In NSWsex work is recognised as a job and is then regulated by existing occupational health and safety legislation and council zoning policies. But it is not fully decriminalised. While street-based sex work is legal, there are restrictions on where workers can work, how they can solicit and whether they can work with another person.
There have also been prostitute website melbourne with local councils refusing applications for brothels, undermining efforts to regulate sex work. But the use of licensing here is unnecessarily restrictive and sends the al that some businesses are undesirable. Denmark has partially decriminalised sex work in a different way.
In theory, this is to stop pimpingbut it makes it harder for sex workers to work safely, as. This model maintains stigma and discriminationand does not give sex workers the same rights and access to justice and social benefits as other working people. In other countries, such as FranceSwedenNorway and Icelandselling sex is legal but paying for it is prostitute website melbourne. Finland introduced a partial ban making it legal to buy and sell sex, as long as the person is working by themselves and has not been forced or coerced. : The stigma of sex work comes with a high cost. As Scarlet Alliancethe peak body for sex workers in Australia, says.
Victoria has a chance to be a world leader here, as it would be the first jurisdiction to implement full decriminalisation. : New report shows compelling reasons to decriminalise sex work. However, sex work is work. A decriminalisation model should not equate sex work with sexual violence or violence against women. This ignores the diverse sexualities and genders of sex workers and their clients. In Australia, human trafficking is often incorrectly conflated with sex work.
Criminalising migrant sex work in the hope of preventing trafficking like in New Zealand would push migrant sex workers further prostitute website melbourne and create unsafe work environments.
Victoria needs to heed the advice from the UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Personswhich said Australia needs to develop strong pathways for safe and legal migration. This includes pathways for sex workers. In Victoriasome migrant sex workers already work lawfully in the sex industry.
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But many do not. Apart from the broader problems with the existing systemthere are visa restrictions around age and the of hours people can work. In order to adequately protect against trafficking, full decriminalisation would ensure migrant sex workers can work safely. This would allow sex workers to be sponsored for longer-term visas with work rights.
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This is ultimately a federal decision, but it needs to be supported by full decriminalisation of sex work at the state level. Victoria has the chance to finally get it right and be the first jurisdiction in the world to fully decriminalise sex work. This involves taking bold steps, such as creating new visa options for migrant sex workers, to guarantee the safety and dignity of all sex workers.
Sex workers have every right to live and work without stigma and discrimination and have been calling for this since It is time we listened. Lessons from the pandemic: Working with families in poverty in Kirklees — Huddersfield, Kirklees. Folk psychology, normative cognition, and the wide distribution of norms — ReadingReading.
Edition: Available editions United Kingdom. Law reform Victoria Decriminalisation Sex work.