Queensland Premier Campbell Newman should have a quiet word with Canada’s Stephen Harper when he is in town.
While Brisbane brothels yesterday brazenly pitched
for trade they are unlikely to attract any Canadians because their country now recognises the sex trade as inherently harmful and fostering inequality between men and women.
This month Canada joined the growing number of countries outlawing the purchasing of a person for sex by implementing the so-called Nordic model.
The Australian Christian Lobby’s spokesperson on women’s issues, Wendy Francis, said Queensland’s Prostitution Act which legalised brothels for the first time in 1999, had failed to achieve its aim of curbing prostitution.
“Legalising brothels has only increased the harm caused in both the legal and illegal sectors and has made Australia an attractive destination for trafficked women,” Ms Francis said.
“I would urge Mr Newman to look for an opportunity to speak with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper about his government’s decision to advance a society that promotes equality between men and women.
“Because a society where full gender equality exists cannot at the same time support the idea that women are commodities that can be bought, sold, and sexually exploited.
“Legal brothels normalise men’s entitlements to women’s bodies.
“I would hope this is anathema to the world leaders gathered in Brisbane this weekend.
“We congratulate Canada as they join Sweden, Norway, Iceland and France in recognition of the harm prostitution causes. The Nordic model has been proven to curb the demand for commercial sex that fuels sex trafficking, and to promote equality between men and women,” Ms Francis said.
Upon the passing of the Canadian law, MP Joy Smith said: “This is a historic moment for equality and women’s rights in Canada”.
Ms Francis was recently invited to present the benefits of the Nordic model to the Queensland Parliament’s Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee in response to its inquiry into strategies to prevent and reduce criminal activity in Queensland. The report from this inquiry is yet to be released.
Ms Francis was also part of a delegation this week which successfully lobbied South Australian MPs against passing a bill to legalise brothels.
The result was that the bill has been delayed with one of the proponents of the bill, Dr Duncan McFetridge MP, telling the South Australian Parliament this week: “There is a need to look at all models, and I am looking at the Nordic model at the moment”.