What We Want

Our key policy demands are:

The removal of criminal penalties associated with consensual adult sex work. In this environment business, tax and local government laws would regulate the sex industry as they do any other. Human trafficking, coercion and the facilitation of child labour in the sex industry would all remain crimes.

Common convictions to be expunged include solicitation and living off the earnings of sex work. The same expungement process is already in place concerning unjust historical homosexual offences. See Human Rights Law Centre’s Expungement Legal Service.

Pursuant to section 67 of the Sex Work Act 1994 (Vic), the Victorian Government is required to appoint and administer a Sex Work Ministerial Advisory Committee, which provides an avenue for sex workers and other key stakeholders to voice concerns about the sex industry to the relevant Minister. The Committee last met in 2014.

Liaison officers assist specific communities to report crimes to the police. Sex work liaison officers would operate in a similar way to existing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex liaison officers, who work to build trust between the LGBTI community and police. Due to decades of criminalisation of their workplaces, many sex workers remain reluctant to engage with the police. Victoria Police has never employed a sex work liaison officer. The appointment of sex work liaison officers would be a step towards building greater trust between sex workers and the police.

Sex workers face indirect and direct discrimination based on their occupation in many aspects of their lives. They may encounter discrimination when working outside the sex industry, when accessing financial services, or when applying for housing. Amending the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic) to include ‘occupation, trade or calling’ as a protected attribute would help to address this discrimination.

In Victoria, brothels often have difficulty obtaining planning permits due to unreasonable and/or biased rejection by councils. This unreasonable rejection of planning permits is one of the driving factors behind Victoria’s proliferation of unlicensed brothels. In 2018, New South Wales changed the process of approving brothel planning permits by introducing Local Planning Panels (LPP’s) in selected local government areas.

 

Last updated: 6 October 2019

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