NORMAC believes that prostitution is not inevitable.  It is fuelled by the willingness of men to pay for sex. We believe that the most effective solution is to tackle the demand for paid sex.

NORMAC believes that prostitution is not inevitable. It is fuelled by the willingness of men to pay for sex. We believe that the most effective solution is to tackle the demand for paid sex.

Prostitution undermines gender equality by commodifying mainly women as sexual goods to be purchased by men.

Our campaign is calling on governments in Australia to introduce Nordic model laws which will end the exploitation of women, children and men in the sex industry, and provide appropriate exit programs.

We want to see criminalisation of the purchase of sexual acts, pimping, procuring and trafficking of persons for sexual exploitation.

In recognition of the vulnerability of those exploited in prostitution this campaign calls for legislation that decriminalises the persons who are prostituted.

In the countries that have implemented Nordic model laws, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and South Korea, there has been a massive decline in prostitution and a significant reduction in sex trafficking and organised crime.

The Nordic Model is being recognised internationally as the most effective human rights approach to dealing with Prostitution and 2014 has seen Nordic Model legislation passed in Canada, France and Northern Ireland.

    Did You Know?

      • The vast majority – 89% of women involved in prostitution want to stop. [[1]]
      • 68% of prostitutes suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, on a par with war veterans and torture victims. [[1]]
      • The mortality rate of prostituted women is many times higher than the national average. [[2]]
      • In 2010/2011, Project Respect encountered 995 women in prostitution in Victoria:[[3]]
        – 60% were currently or previously in a violent relationship
        – 75% were single mothers
        – 73% spoke of childhood or adult sexual abuse
        – 47% were financially supporting a partner.
        – 33% were homeless and 65% were in severe housing distress.
        – 35% were forced into prostitution by excessive gambling or gambling debts.
        – 35% sought legal assistance
        – Drug addiction, including increased use of amphetamines, is an ongoing problem

    Pathways to Exploitation

‘It is rare that one finds a case in which the path to prostitution and/or a person’s experiences within prostitution do not involve, at the very least, an abuse of power or an abuse of vulnerability… put simply, the road to prostitution and life within ‘the life’ is rarely one marked by empowerment or adequate options’[[6]]

    The means by which people become exploited in the sex industry can vary but in most cases coercion and/or exploitation of their vulnerability are key factors. Some are trafficked, while a significant number end up in prostitution as a result of poverty, debt, homelessness, addiction or being groomed by a partner, family member or ‘friend’.

A large number will have experienced serious abuse or neglect in childhood or youth.

Although a small group compared to females, boys and men who are prostituted will have similar experiences and are also highly vulnerable.

Those involved in prostitution suffer significant long term harm, with negative physical and psychological health impacts.

‘We need to look to the example of the world’s most progressive and humane countries in protecting vulnerable people, especially the young and disadvantaged who are most often drawn into sex work.  Powerful interests support the commercialization of sex, and we need to not be hoodwinked that this is about freedom.  It’s the very opposite.’ –Said Prof. Steve Biddulph [[4]]

Legalised Prostitution – What Happens?

Australian states that have legalised a commercial sex industry have had an explosion in both legal and illegal prostitution, trafficking and organised crime.

In Victoria, brothel legalisation has led to increases in street prostitution, and in the number of illegal brothels and live sexually explicit entertainment venues. [[5]]

Brothels were decriminalised in NSW in 1995.  Within five years the number of brothels in Sydney had tripled to around 400-500, both legal and illegal. [[7]]

A legalised commercial sex industry has public interest implications for –

  • anti-discrimination law,
  • local government planning,
  • business, for example the property and accommodation sectors, and
  • communities


[[1]] Farley et al., 2003 – Prostitution and Trafficking in Nine Countries
[[2]] Farley, 2004 – Bad for the body, bad for the heart
[[3]] Project Respect Annual Report 2010/2011
[[4]] Prof. Steve Biddulph, Evandale Centre, Tasmania
[[5]] Attorney General’s Street Prostitution Advisory Group Report, 2002
[[6]] Sigma Huda, UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking, 2006
[[7]] Sullivan and Jeffreys, 2001, Legalising Prostitution is not the answer