Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV)
Victoria currently has a licensing/legalisation system of sex work laws. Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) is responsible for licensing sex industry business operators, as well as registering individual sex workers.
- licenses brothel owners and administers a public register of such owners
- licenses brothel managers and administers a public register of such managers
- registers individual sex workers and administers a private register of such sex workers
- administers and appoints members of the Sex Work Ministerial Advisory Committee
- administers the Sex Work Regulation Fund, monies used by CAV to regulate the sex industry according the Sex Work Act 1994 (Vic)
1. The figures above do NOT reflect the number of licensed brothels and escort agencies in Victoria. There may be more than one owner per brothel/escort agency. In 2020, there were 88 licensed brothels and 22 licensed escort agencies.
1. These figures do NOT reflect the number of licensed brothels and escort agencies in Victoria. There may be more than one manager per brothel/escort agency. In 2020, there were 88 licensed brothels and 22 licensed escort agencies.
Possible reasons for the decline in the number of licensed managers and owners:
- The graph above excludes the estimated 4000 unregistered private (self-employed) sex workers.
- Following the passage of the Consumer Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 (Vic) in late 2019, data from 2020 onwards is no longer available.
Victoria’s Licensing Model is NOT Smart Regulation
Licensing individual sex workers and sex industry businesses may seem to be a sensible way to regulate the sex industry, however, Victoria’s unique licensing system places unworkable restrictions on sex workers, forcing the majority to operate outside the law. This demonstrates that the legislation fails in its aim of controlling sex work.¹
© Sex Work Law Reform Victoria 2020
Last updated: 12 August 2020