The Australian Christian Lobby has expressed dismay that laws decriminalising prostitution passed the Northern Territory parliament on Tuesday night.
“Women should never be bought and sold,” ACL Northern Territory director and spokesperson for women, Wendy Francis said today, “Decriminalisation of the sex trade is a win for pimps and a win for brothel owners. The women in prostitution lose.”
Mrs Francis said the changes were opposed by many women who have experienced the trauma of the sex trade first-hand. “Prostitution is a sexist and racist industry, exploiting Aboriginal women, women in poverty, the homeless and those addicted to alcohol and drugs,” she lamented, “Women trafficked across Australia and from Asia will have no protection.”
“It is rare to find a path into prostitution that did not involve an abuse of power or vulnerability,” Mrs Francis added, “The sex trade cleverly markets prostitution as a woman’s ‘choice’, but poor and indigenous women worldwide are over-represented in prostitution. Why are those with the fewest choices found in prostitution?”
The ACL maintains that the reform model that works – allowing women the freedom to exit the industry – is the model adopted by a growing number of nations strongly committed to gender equality.
“The Nordic model – also known as the Human Rights model – was implemented in Sweden in 1999, then Norway, Iceland, Canada, Northern Ireland, France, Ireland and Israel. Why did the NT government ignore their most progressive prostitution reforms?” Mrs Francis concluded, “The imminent proliferation of prostitution will be raised during the August 2020 Territory election campaign. Voters should voice their opposition to this dangerous social experiment at the ballot box.”