Thursday, 9th May 2013

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) says evidence given by the Victoria Police at a parliamentary inquiry shows there’s a link between sex trafficking and legalised brothels.

Victoria Police yesterday told the Parliamentary Inquiry into Slavery and People Trafficking Melbourne hearing that there is a large-scale human trafficking problem occurring in many licensed brothels in the state.

ACL’s Victorian Director Dan Flynn says the state government’s laws surrounding prostitution don’t deter human trafficking and a new legislative approach was needed.

“Victoria Police have told the inquiry that although many brothels don’t use trafficked women, there are still plenty where trafficking is occurring,” he said.

“Prostitution has been licensed in Victoria since 1984 and as long as the states continue to allow legalised prostitution, we will never see this issue disappear.

“If the government wants to tackle the growing sex trafficking problem, it must seriously consider tackling the demand for prostituted women.

“ACL has continually advocated for the government to adopt the Nordic approach to prostitution which criminalises the purchase of sex

“The results are promising; Sweden, for example, is now seen as an unfavourable destination for traffickers of women,” he said.

In November 2012, ACL presented evidence linking legalised prostitution and sex trafficking to the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade.

ACL’s Managing Director Lyle Shelton and Research Officer Daniel Simon argued that the existence of legal prostitution heightened demand for prostituted women and fostered an environment in which illegal prostitution and sex trafficking flourished.

Click here to read ACL’s submission.