News overnight about Gold Coast raids on massage parlours suspected of being brothels should lead to the reform model that works, the Australian Christian Lobby urged this morning.

Queensland ACL state director and national spokesperson for women, Wendy Francis, noted that the sex industry often uses police activity against illegal brothels to push for decriminalisation. 

“The sex industry’s legalisation model is the wrong way to go, only spawning more and more illegal prostitution activity,” Mrs Francis reported, “In both legal and illegal brothels, women are exploited. In a supposedly regulated industry, girls in Gold Coast massage parlours are prostituted in illegal sex shops for as little as $20 for some sexual services.”

“These latest raids only serve to further expose what is a thriving criminal sex industry,” Mrs Francis added, referencing a 2009 report by the University of Queensland's Human Trafficking Working Group. The report found that illegal brothels and sex worker rings thrived under Queensland’s prostitution regulatory regime with only 10 per cent of Queensland's prostitution industry effectively regulated by the 1999 Prostitution Act. 

“Australian authorities must catch up with leading nations recognising the inherent harm of prostitution,” Mrs Francis pressed, “These nations are adopting a Human Rights model of prostitution legislation that supports women wanting to leave the sex trade. As part of broader ‘Women’s Peace and Sanctuary Laws’ this legislation has been enacted in Sweden (1999), Norway (2008), Iceland (2009), Canada (2014), Northern Ireland (2015), France (2016), Ireland (2017), Israel (2018).” 

ENDS.