Illegal sex trade and trafficking into South Australia is set to increase if the South Australian parliament blindly follows a parliamentary committee recommendation to legalise prostitution, warns the Australian Christian Lobby.
ACL South Australian director Christopher Brohier said it would be foolhardy for South Australia to ignore current world best practice that noticeably reduces sex trade.
“With three of the seven-member committee unhappy with the recommendation it is clear the committee has not been convinced that deregulation of sex work is the way forward,” Mr Brohier said.
“More work needs to be done to investigate a helpful approach to dealing with prostitution, known as the Nordic Approach, which has made fantastic inroads in decreasing the sex industry in such places as the Nordic countries, Canada and France.
The Nordic Approach targets the men and pimps that profit through the exploitation of women.
“Many South Australians would be concerned that what is being proposed will put brothels next door to churches, schools or the suburbs,” Mr Brohier said.
“It will mean even more women from Asia and Africa on our streets trafficked here as sex workers.
“Making legalisation even more difficult to support is the dismal failure of such laws in Victoria and Queensland.
“By its own admission, the Queensland Prostitution Licensing Authority, set up to police the 22 ‘legal’ and registered brothels in that State, acknowledged that after 18 years in operation, decriminalisation had failed to curtail uncontrolled prostitution run by criminal gangs and pimps.
“Most prostitution in the state occurs outside of licensed brothel,” the QLD Authority wrote in its 2015-16 annual report.
“The question many South Australians would be asking is why South Australia would consider legislation that will do nothing to stop sex trafficking and the abuse of prostituted women.
“The effect of anti-discrimination legislation will mean prostitution will be protected and privileged from any individual or organisation which seeks to oppose it in practical ways.”
“The Government would be doing a great disservice to South Australians and to trafficked women being exploited if they do not take stock of the failures of legalising brothels and use the tried and tested Nordic Approach."