June 2nd is International Sex Workers Day, which celebrates the birth of the sex worker rights movement, which originated in Lyon France, forty three years ago in 1975. On this day, sex workers staged a church ‘sit in’ to protest police brutality and the lack of police attention to crimes against sex workers. Soon community members joined sex workers and challenged the police to distinguish who is and who isn’t a sex worker, making it difficult for the police to make arrests.
This year, on June 1st, as part of International Sex Workers Day celebrations, Adelaide sex workers and their supporters, including other sex industry staff, health professionals, friends, family and clients of sex workers, will rally at 4 pm on the steps of Parliament House, with a message for the South Australian government, demanding the decriminalisation of sex work in South Australia.
The laws pertaining to sex work in South Australia are contained in the Summary Offences Amendment Act (1953) and the Criminal Law Consolidation Act (1935). “South Australian laws have not moved with the times and are putting sex workers at considerable risk of harm” said Sharon Jennings, manager of SIN.