How the ‘National Cabinet of Whores’ is leading Australia’s coronavirus response for sex workers

Roxana Diamond in The Conversation, August 7, 2020 12.31pm AEST

This article has links that contain graphic content

Many industries and employees have been hurt by COVID-19. But sex workers, who face stigma and discrimination at the best of times, have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic.

The United Nations has warned,

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, sex workers all over the world are experiencing hardship, a total loss of income and increased discrimination and harassment.

As both a researcher in the area and sex worker myself, I have seen how sex workers have been an afterthought in Australia’s responses to COVID-19. And how it has been up to sex workers yet again to protect their community, underscoring the importance of decriminalising sex work.

Community Forum: Sex Work Decriminalisation (free online event)

Thorne Harbour Health, July 2020

A review into the decriminalisation of sex work in Victoria is currently underway. Join us to learn about sex work decriminalisation from an expert panel including representatives of the Scarlet Alliance, Sex Industry Network, Vixen Collective, SWOP NT and Respect QLD.

The event will feature presentations on the current regulatory framework in different Australian jurisdictions and the lived experiences of sex workers under the criminalised model, followed by a panel discussion covering issues such as licensing, mandatory STI testing, and recent reform efforts.

Forum date & time: Wed, 29 July 2020 at 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM ACST

There are fears coronavirus is stopping Australia’s migrant women from accessing abortions

SBS News, 26th April 2020

Vulnerable pregnant women could lose access to abortion throughout Australia because of increased financial hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic, reproductive health providers have warned. 

A combination of widespread job losses, differing abortion laws around the country, and patchy access to Medicare, could mean more women need financial assistance to terminate unwanted pregnancies or will face carrying their pregnancies to term.

Some providers even fear a return to people attempting unsafe abortions if women cannot afford legal terminations.

Press release: We Must Do Better for Our Trans and Gender Diverse Children and Young People

South Australia’s first Commissioner for Children and Young People, 4th November 2019

Commissioner for Children and Young People Helen Connolly says that South  Australia’s trans and gender diverse children and young people have told her they want their health care needs to be a  priority for the Government. 

Our jurisdictions around Australia already deliver models of care that cater to the specific needs of trans and gender diverse children and young people, however South Australia is lagging behind with children and young people, and their families consistently report that access and support is ‘ad hoc’.

The findings have come out of the First Port of Call report released by the Commissioner. On advice received from trans and gender diverse children and young
people, four distinct priority areas, requiring immediate attention, have been identified in the report.

 

In contrast to Australia’s success with hepatitis C, our response to hepatitis B is lagging

The Conversation, October 15th, 2019

Around one-third of Australians living with hepatitis C have been cured in the last four years. Australia’s response to hepatitis C is seen as a leading example around the world, and the elimination of the disease as a major public health threat is looking like an increasingly achievable goal.

But the situation is much less promising for Australians living with hepatitis B, which is now the most common blood-borne viral infection in Australia. It affects more people than hepatitis C and HIV combined.

Concerns for women after SA closes two centres for surgical abortion

ABC News, 19/09/2019

Two of South Australia’s surgical abortion services have been shut down over the past 18 months, amid community concerns about the impact on women seeking care.

In January, services were relocated from the main abortion provider in the state, the Pregnancy Advisory Centre in Adelaide’s inner-western suburbs, moving all surgical abortions to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH).

SA Health is now looking at relocating the abortion service permanently to the QEH during the hospital’s redevelopment.