Tuesday, 7th August, 2012

The stalling of the Barnett Government’s controversial brothel legislation is an opportunity for it to revisit its election promise to properly investigate the successful Nordic policy, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.

ACL’s spokeswoman on prostitution laws Michelle Pearse said the Christian constituency was disappointed that Mr Barnett’s pledge in front of 800 people at ACL’s 2009 Make it Count leaders’ forum has not been honoured.

“There has been no delegation to Sweden to see how sex trafficking, street prostitution and the exploitation of women has been dramatically reduced by the Nordic model, which is now being adopted by many other countries,” Ms Pearse said.

“The eastern states of Australia have failed to curb exploitation of women, the growth of illegal prostitution and sex trafficking after decades of legalised brothels along the lines of that proposed in the Barnett Government’s stalled legislation.

“Instead of trying to force what is clearly ineffective policy through the Parliament, the government should send a delegation to Nordic countries and talk to their government and policy officials about the success of their model.”

Sweden pioneered prostitution policy which attacks the demand for prostituted women by decriminalising it whilst punishing men for trying to purchase a woman for sex.

Ms Pearse said the epidemic in global sex trafficking was being driven in part by legal brothels in Western countries like Australia.

“The Government’s policy of legalising brothels will only further fuel demand for prostituted women.

“The Government should not be sending a message to young women that prostitution is a worthy profession sanctioned by the State because it was inherently unsafe,” Ms Pearse said.