Decriminalisation of sex work in south Australia (SHINE SA Media Release)

SHINE SA,  

On 31 May 2019, the Sex Industry Network (SIN) will gather at Parliament House to rally for the decriminalisation of the South Australian sex industry and to recognise International Sex Workers Day.

In South Australia sex work is criminalised, prohibiting sex work so that those engaging in relevant activities can be prosecuted for criminal offences. SIN and Scarlet Alliance (Australian Sex Workers Association) advocate for decriminalisation which is seen as a best practice model by sex workers and community-based organisations.

In a recent statement SIN said:

“Sex work is skilled labour. We deserve the same industrial protections as any other worker in South Australia and, currently, what sets us apart is the criminalisation of the industry within which we CHOOSE to work.”

Natasha Miliotis, Chief Executive of SHINE SA said:

“We support the work of SIN and their advocacy for the decriminalisation of sex work in SA.

Amnesty International, the United Nations and the World Health Organization have all called for the full decriminalisation of consensual sex work as the scientific evidence is now clear – criminalisation itself leads to harm¹.

From a public health perspective decriminalisation is important to not only reduce stigma and discrimination, but to improve the health and safety of workers, clients and the broader community².”

For more information on SIN’s celebration of International Sex Workers Day and the rally for the decriminalisation of the South Australian sex industry visit www.sin.org.au.

For further information contact Tracey Hutt, Director Workforce Education and Development via email  or via telephone on 0434 937 036

 

 

¹ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30532209

² https://theconversation.com/new-report-shows-compelling-reasons-to-decriminalise-sex-work-83955

Liz Forsyth: South Australia has some of the country’s most outdated and strictest laws around sex work

Liz Forsyth, CEO of YWCA Adelaide – in The Advertiser, August 2, 2017

SOUTH Australia has some of the most outdated and strictest laws around sex work in the country. However the Bill to decriminalise sex work may soon be before the House of Assembly, having successfully passed the Legislative Council by 13 votes to eight earlier in July.

What will this reform mean? Will sex workers take over our streets? Will we see an increase in sex work in our state? Will the moral fabric of our society be thrown into disrepute?!

Sex worker and activist Laura Lee: ‘It’s now far more difficult to stay safe’

The Guardian, Saturday 6 February 2016

There aren’t many sex workers in Britain happy to talk openly about their work, so Laura Lee is used to being interviewed. She is managing to be remarkably upbeat, on just four hours’ sleep. Lee will need all her reserves of cheerful energy during the next fortnight, as she prepares a legal challenge against the government of Northern Ireland, which last June introduced radical new legislation making it illegal to pay for sex.

Although, in the abstract, the change in the law appears positive, shifting the burden of criminality from women firmly on to their clients, most sex workers believe the new law makes their work much more unsafe.

Read more here

Submissions to the Sex Work Decriminalisation Select Committee close on 16th October

Submissions to the Sex Work Decriminalisation Select Committee (South Australia)  close on the 16th of October.

The purpose of the Bill is to amend various pieces of legislation to decriminalise sex work and extend protections to provide sex workers with the same rights and protections as other workers.

The Bill to decriminalise sex work in SA was read for a second time on Wednesday (9th September) in the Upper House.

The Bill has now been sent to a select committee of 7 politicians. This means that they meet to discuss the Bill and debate amendments to it.

The committee requires submissions from sex workers and organisations and community members to assist them in their decision making processes.

Submissions can be sent to: Leslie Guy, Secretary to the Committee, Legislative Council Select Committee on the Statutes Amendment (Decriminalisation of Sex Work) Bill 2015 via email leslie.guy@parliament.sa.gov.au

  • Read more (SA Parliament) here
  • Read Amnesty International’s Q&A on decriminalising sex work here
  • See details of SIN’s letter writing day for submissions on 7th October (Facebook event) here

Amnesty must stand firm on support for decriminalising sex work

The Guardian, Tuesday 4 August 2015

Amnesty International is “poised to make a serious mistake” that would “severely and irreparably tarnish” the organisation’s reputation. What is the mistake? Listening to sex workers globally and considering adopting a policy supporting the decriminalisation of sex work.

The past week has seen a battle of petitions and open letters defending and attacking Amnesty’s move. What should matter to Amnesty’s directors and members is the strong, growing and undeniable evidence collected by academics and international organisations that criminalising any aspect of sex work makes sex workers more vulnerable to sexual and other forms of violence, forced rehabilitation, arrests, deportation and contracting HIV. What should matter even more is the voice of the sex workers themselves.

  • Read more here
  • Access the petition to Amnesty International Council by Global Network of Sex Work Projects here