Thursday April 12, 2012

The Australian Christian Lobby said the conviction of a woman in the ACT for slavery shows broader problems with the prostitution industry. [i]

Managing Director Jim Wallace welcomed the force of law that convicted the woman who required her victim to work off a $43,000 ‘debt’ over an 11-month period by becoming a prostituted woman.

“The sad story shows that even here in Australia human trafficking is alive and active and also there is a link between prostitution and human trafficking,” Mr Wallace said.

“What is also concerning about this story is that the court heard that during a three and a half month period the victim serviced 720 men and yet why don’t we hold these men also accountable for contributing to the victim’s slavery?

“Could the men who purchased sex honestly say they did not suspect the woman’s situation? Why aren’t these men culpable for their actions?

“This is why we need a different approach to prostitution policy to eliminate potential for human trafficking and exploitation of women. If men were penalised for purchasing sex – a model that is currently used in Sweden, Norway, Iceland and South Korea – the demand for trafficked and prostituted women would diminish as it has in Sweden,” Mr Wallace said.

Mr Wallace said in the same way the law didn’t excuse former Tasmanian MP Terry Martin’s actions for having underage sex with a 12-year-old girl – so the law should also hold men accountable for exploiting women.

“The ACT Government was far too hasty in its dismissal of the successful Swedish policy model. If it was serious about addressing sex slavery it would investigate this further and look to the lead of other countries which are pursuing this,” Mr Wallace said.

[1] See related story