Report calls for ban on buying sex

A new report labels Australia’s prostitution laws ‘outdated’ and recommends we follow France’s lead and prohibit the purchase of sexual services.

The Demand Change: Understanding the Nordic Approach to Prostitution report from the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women Australia (CATWA) is being launched on Tuesday 3 December.

Report chief author and Victoria University sociologist Dr Meagan Tyler said it was a response to current laws that are failing to tackle the harms of the sex industry.

“Full criminalisation unfairly punishes those in prostitution while attempts at legalisation have not reduced violence against women or the involvement of organised crime in the industry,” Dr Tyler said.

“There is a patchwork of ineffective and inconsistent legislation dealing with prostitution across different states in Australia, so we need to think about new and better ways of doing things.”

She said the ‘Nordic Model’, which criminalises the purchase of sex but decriminalises people in prostitution, was now seen as the most innovative and progressive approach to prostitution policy in the world.

“This approach holds buyers accountable and recognises that it is the mostly male demand for prostitution that fuels the expansion of the sex industry and sex trafficking,” she said.

“The Model originated in Sweden and has been exceptionally successful, halving the number of people in prostitution and severely curtailing sex trafficking to the country.”

CATWA Public Officer, Professor Sheila Jeffreys, an internationally renowned scholar on the sex industry at the University of Melbourne, will be officially launching the report.

The report is launched December 3 and available on the CATWA website from December 4.

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