Sex Workers’ Rights and the 2022 Victorian Election – Political Parties Compared
Note: The page below has been archived and will no longer be updated. In the months leading up to Victoria’s state election on 26 November 2022, this page was updated and maintained to guide voters on the issue of sex workers’ rights.
Sex workers’ rights are human rights, and here in Victoria, some political parties have a stronger track record on supporting sex workers than others. On 26 November 2022, Victorians will vote in a state election. How do political parties compare when it comes to sex workers’ rights? Sex Work Law Reform Victoria reviews the track record since 2018 of each political party from a sex workers’ rights perspective.
State Issues Relevant to Sex Workers
Australia has three levels of government, with state governments having greatest responsibility for issues relating to sex work. In Victoria, the state government:
- can change sex work laws, including decriminalising sex work
- can change special council laws (planning schemes) which either permit or prohibit sex work
- can change state-level anti-discrimination laws
- can change sexual assault and rape laws
- funds WorkSafe Victoria and the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission
- provides funding to Victoria Police
Update: On 26 November 2022 the Labor Party has claimed victory and will form government. Full results at our page:
Victorian Election Result – What it Means for Sex Workers
Related: Eastsider News Opinion Piece
The Rise of the Hard Right Candidate: A Warning from Sex Workers
The Victorian Labor Government’s Track Record on Sex Workers’ Rights
In Victoria, the governing Labor Party is considered to comprise the most progressive government in Australia and has delivered remarkable progress on sex workers’ rights. In this term of government (2018 – 2022), the Victorian Labor Party has decriminalised sex work and strengthened anti-discrimination protections for sex workers.
The Verdict in Short
The Labor Party and crossbench parties performed well. The coalition (Liberal Party and National Party) performed poorly.
|Animal Justice Party|
|Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party|
|Angry Victorians Party|
Authorised by Sex Work Law Reform Victoria Inc., 79-81 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, Victoria, 3182.
This webpage is provided as a guide to help inform voters about how political parties and candidates have performed when it comes to sex workers’ rights.
Sex Work Law Reform Victoria is not affiliated with any political party, candidate, councillor or local government. Sex Work Law Reform Victoria Inc. does not endorse or campaign for any political party or candidate. We believe all political parties can potentially work towards enhancing sex workers’ rights and we encourage all political parties to take an ongoing interest in sex workers’ rights. We have never donated to a political party, candidate, councillor or local government. We have never received money from any political parties, candidates, councillors or local governments. We have never applied for or received grants from the Victorian Government or any local government. We are a registered not-for-profit organisation. We are not a registered charity.
We understand sex workers have a wide range of views about politics and we respect diversity of views.
Each political party is rated based on their track record on sex workers’ rights. Each party’s conduct during this term of parliament (2018 – 2022) is given the most weight; conduct prior to 2018 is considered but given less weight. The following were taken into consideration in the ranking process:
- the party’s voting record in state parliament on bills relevant to sex workers’ rights
- the party’s voting record on sex work council motions
- the party’s policy/platform on sex work
- the party’s published reports, media releases
- the party’s members’ statements in the media about sex work
- whether councillors or state members of the party have lobbied for or against sex workers’ rights (based on publicly available sources)
- speeches in state parliament or council meetings regarding sex work
- funding of government agencies specifically targeted to benefit sex workers
- private conversations
- the number of times members of parliament privately met with sex workers from our group or other sex worker groups
- the personalities of members of parties or their leaders
- information not in the public realm
- voting records or statements made about bills or motions not related to sex work
- the conduct of party members after they have left the party
The following registered political parties have no track record on sex workers’ rights as they had no sitting members in either of the chambers of the Victorian Parliament during this parliamentary term (2018 – 2022). These political parties also have no policy on sex work. As such, they cannot be rated or compared from a sex workers’ rights perspective.
- Companions and Pets Party
- Family First Victoria
- Freedom Party of Victoria
- Health Australia Party
- Legalise Cannabis Victoria
- New Democrats
- Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party
- Restore Democracy Sack Dan Andrews Party
- United Australia Party
- Victorian Socialists
We have not assessed independent candidates unaffiliated with a registered political party.
© Sex Work Law Reform Victoria 2022
Last updated: 15 December 2022