In welcoming Labor leader Peter Malinauskas revelation he will not support the push to decriminalise prostitution in South Australia, Simone Watson, survivor of prostitution and Director for the Nordic Model Australia Coalition (NorMAC) today said:
“This is welcome news for all survivors of the sex trade as the proposed legislation does nothing to address the factors that see primarily women enter the sex trade, instead it legitimises pimping and profiting off women’s bodies”.
Mr Malinauskas seems focused on preventing the growth of organised crime and NorMAC recognises the problems present in other states such as New South Wales in which a decriminalised sex trade has resulted in criminal networks entrenching themselves in sex industry. “While we welcome his critical review of a decriminalised and legitimised sex industry, our focus is on challenging the mantra that ‘sex work’ is just a job like any other”. Ms Watson said.
“It is also unfortunate there are parliamentarians in South Australia who are pushing this legislation at a time when women are finding themselves increasingly at risk of sexual exploitation. This is due to multiple factors including increasing difficulties in accessing housing which is seeing women pressured to exchange sex for access to accommodation. We are also aware that disadvantaged women in communities such as the Northern Territory have been pressured into prostitution through poverty and lack of financial autonomy through measures such as the basics card”. said Ms Watson.
Mr Malinauskas is correct in stating the proposed bill does not achieve its aim of protecting the welfare of those involved in the sex trade. “The only way to protect welfare of those in the sex trade is with a STOP DEMAND legislative approach which focuses on ending the structural economic disadvantage of women, challenging the commodification of women’s bodies and male demand for access to women’s bodies.”
“NorMAC continues to lobby for the Nordic/Equality Model which is premised, not on ‘street walkers’ as ‘undesirables’, rather holds sex buyers accountable for creating a system of institutionalised sexual violence. The bill presented by Tammy Franks is incongruent with progressive, human rights based approaches being successfully applied in other parts of the world. The French legislation is most encouraging, and we already have existing infrastructure to create an equivalent. But in the meantime, we applaud Peter Malinauskas and all parliamentarians who stand against the proposed bill.” said Ms Watson.