News Item

QLD Prostitution Decriminalisation Bill

On 15 February 2024, Yvette D’Ath, the Queensland Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, tabled a Bill to fully decriminalise prostitution in Queensland. 

If passed, Ms. D’Ath’s Bill will effectively treat prostitution like any other legitimate “work”, but without the protections that other work with risk attracts. This Bill comes at a time when youth crime rates are soaring, housing affordability is out of the reach of young people and single income families, and cost of living increases are unbearable for many. The temptation, particularly for young people, will be to enter the sex industry as a means of bridging the gap in their budget. This is a heartbreaking situation that will be fuelled by this very bad Bill. 

 Queensland does not need a larger sex industry. The State has already seen a  600 percent explosion of infectious syphilis which is even infecting and killing babies and nationwide sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are rapidly rising

A larger sex industry will mean higher rates of sex trafficking, increased violence and abuse of prostituted persons, higher youth crime rates, and even the prospect of “Sex Work” as a legitimate career choice offered to high school children over 16. 

Decriminalising prostitution and transferring regulatory responsibilities to the government will: 

  • Create regulatory ambiguity, oversight gaps, and enforcement challenges;  
  • Increase rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV/AIDS transmission;  
  • Expose marginalised groups, such as minors, immigrants, and economically disadvantaged individuals, to exploitation and coercion; 
  • Heighten vulnerability to threats like assault, robbery, and violence, particularly during solitary house visits, as evidenced by the killings of Michaela Dunn, Kimberley McRae, Ting Fang and Jingai Zhang;  
  • Promote the commodification of human bodies and perpetuate power imbalances, compelling individuals to engage in commercial sexual activities due to economic necessity or exploitation;  
  • Lead women, particularly in Indigenous communities, with high substance abuse rates to enter prostitution to support addiction, exacerbating issues of substance dependency and exploitation; 
  • Undermine societal moral values by normalising sex as a commercial transaction, leading to increased rates of family breakdown; 
  • Facilitate the grooming of children into prostitution upon reaching maturity;  
  • Enable solicitation in public places, exposing women and young girls to unwanted sexual advances; 
  • Expose children to sexually explicit activities and materials in inappropriate locations, impacting their innocence and emotional well-being;  
  • Perpetuate the objectification of women and contribute to gender inequality;  
  • Compromise the integrity and mission of faith-based schools and organisations by requiring them to employ individuals engaged in prostitution contrary to their religious principles;  
  • Hinder law enforcement efforts to investigate the exploitation of children and migrants for prostitution or sexual servitude in brothels;  
  • Allow anyone to set up a brothel without a ‘fit and proper person test’;  
  • Prohibit landlords and motel/hotel owners from refusing to lease or hire premises because they are used for prostitution;  
  • Enable brothel owners to recruit workers at schools and university career events;  
  • Permit street soliciting anywhere and at any time without repercussions;  
  • Fail to protect children living on premises where prostitution is occurring;  
  • Allow prostitution advertising of any manner to occur, including the display of prostituted women in shop windows;  
  • Fail to protect children who may be employed in premises where prostitution occurs;  
  • Make it easier for human traffickers to operate;  
  • Perpetuate economic exploitation as prostituted persons face pressure to accept unsafe conditions, low pay, and exploitative arrangements with brothel owners;  
  • Facilitate solicitation at schools and churches. 

Your voice matters. Please click the link to make a submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Queensland Criminal Code (Decriminalising Sex Work) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2024.  Submissions to this Inquiry are open to all Australians. 

Feel free to use the above bullet points and optionally add your own comments.—submissions—criminal-code-decriminalising-sex-work-and-other-legislation-amendment-bill-2024

The deadline for submission is 10:00am, Friday, 8 March 2024. 

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