Reports of Chinese women being brought to South Australia on student visas to work in brothels should serve as a warning to parliamentarians currently considering new liberalised prostitution legislation, says the Australian Christian Lobby. 

“Should current prostitution laws be watered down, as is currently proposed, it will result in an increase in sex trafficking as witnessed in other states which have taken this path,” ACL SA director Christopher Brohier said.

“This report reinforces what South Australians intuitively already know - sex trafficking is already a serious issue for law enforcement. Do we really want to exacerbate criminal activity further by liberalising prostitution laws?

“There is a better way for legislators to tackle the insidious sex trafficking trade in South Australia, it is known as the Nordic Approach,” Mr Brohier said.

“Sweden was the architect of the model described as the world’s first human rights/women’s rights based legal model of prostitution legislation.

“The Nordic Approach does not criminalise the prostitute, but rather criminalises the buyer — addressing the demand for prostitution, and importantly also provides women with exit strategies. Within four years of the law being implemented, the number of women involved in prostitution in Sweden halved.

“The approach has already been implemented in countries such as Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Canada, Northern Ireland and France. South Korea, Mexico and Israel are also moving in this direction,” Mr Brohier said.

“South Australian House of Assembly MPs should reject any bill which supports further trafficking and continues the abuse of women and embrace the Nordic Approach by moving forward with legislation that dignifies and encourages gender equality and respect.”