Friday, 31st May 2013

The Australian Christian Lobby has welcomed the conviction of three men in Perth for purchasing women for sex but says there is still a need for law reform.

ACL spokesperson on prostitution and human trafficking Wendy Francis said the high number of cases of street prostitution highlighted a culture of belief that there is nothing wrong with a man purchasing a woman’s body for sex.

“In purchasing a woman’s body for sex, it allows men to see women as objects and to be used for their personal gratification. Women in prostitution are constantly at risk of violence and abuse from the men who use them,” she said.

“Many women in prostitution are vulnerable - which was shown in the 2010 study into the Sex Industry in Western Australia. For instance, it showed there are higher rates of drug injection amongst street prostitutes.”

Mrs Francis welcomed City of Vincent Mayor Alannah MacTiernan’s desire to see the demand for street prostitution dealt with but said further law reform was needed.

“The current system of criminalising prostitution in West Australia doesn’t encourage women to seek help and a better solution would be to make the purchase of sex, which focuses on the demand from men, illegal,” she said.

“This approach was implemented in Sweden more than a decade ago and street prostitution there is now almost non-existent.

“The Swedish or Nordic Model of prostitution regulation, has proven so successful that now Iceland, Norway, South Korea and Israel have some form of this model in their own countries.

“Legalising brothels has been a failed experiment in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria and led to increased demand for sexual services. It would be great to see Western Australia lead the nation in introducing the Nordic Model that deals so well with street and other prostitution,” Mrs Francis said.