Top 5 Benefits of Decriminalisation

Benefit 1

Makes it easier for sex workers to report crime or harassment to police.¹

Benefit 2

Reduces mistreatment of sex workers while increasing their access to healthcare and human rights.⁴

Benefit 3

Improves rates of safer sex practice and lowers rates of sexually transmissible infections,³ averting HIV infections over the next decade.²

Benefit 4

Removes barriers to sex workers paying income tax.

Benefit 5

Provides less opportunity for organised crime and police corruption to take hold in the sex industry.⁵ ⁶


  1. Fraser Crichton, Decriminalising sex work in New Zealand: its history and impact (2015) Open Democracy


2. The Lancet, ‘Keeping Sex Workers Safe’ (2015) Vol 386 The Lancet Series on HIV and Sex Workers 504

3. Department of Health, Eighth National HIV Strategy 2018 – 2022 (Australian Government Department of Health 2018) page 22


  1. Donovan B, Harcourt C, O’Conner J, Egger S, Fairley C, Wand H, Chen M, Kaldor

J, Marshall L,  The decriminalisation of Prostitution is Associated with Better Coverage of Health Promotion Programs for Sex Workers (2009) 34(5) Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health482


  1. The Hon Justice JRT Wood, Royal Commission Into The New South Wales

Police Service, Final Report, Volume 1: Corruption, (1997)  The Government of the State of New South Wales, Finding 1.40


  1. Basil Donovan et al, The Sex Industry in New South Wales

A Report to the NSW Ministry of Health (The Kirby Institute 2012) Recommendation 2, Table 1 and Conclusions.


© Sex Work Law Reform Victoria 2020

Last updated: 29 March 2020