Decriminalisation Does Not Mean Complete Deregulation of the Sex Industry

A common concern associated with the decriminalisation of sex work is that decriminalisation will result in an unregulated environment where anything is permissible. Some people worry that in an unregulated environment, human trafficking will inevitably increase.

Decriminalisation will NOT result in complete deregulation of the sex industry. Decriminalisation removes criminal penalties associated with activities carried out between consenting adults. In a decriminalised framework existing general laws continue to regulate the sex industry as they do any other.

Specifically, if Victoria decriminalised sex work, the following laws already in place to regulate the sex industry will apply:

  • Anti-human trafficking laws
  • Laws preventing children from being involved in the sex industry
  • Outlaw motorcycle gang laws
  • Organised crime laws
  • Rape and sexual assault laws
  • Illicit drug laws
  • Occupational health and safety laws
  • WorkSafe laws
  • Workers’ compensation laws
  • Anti-discrimination laws
  • Migration laws
  • Tax laws
  • Business contract laws
  • Advertising laws
  • Local council planning laws
  • Neighbourhood noise laws
  • Public indecency laws
  • Littering laws


decriminalisation benefits all sex workers


Last updated: 29 January 2019