ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell has responded to a committee report into the Territory’s Prostitution Act, saying he continues to support the ACT’s current laws.

The Committee recommended in February that ACT continue to regulate prostitution as a legitimate occupation, despite the concerns about abuse and exploitation of women. Although some of the recommendations will tighten existing regulations, the Committee ignored the evidence that legalised prostitution leads to a growth in demand for prostituted women. This in turn leads to a growth in the industry, both legal and illegal, and further endangers women.

ACL made a submission to the inquiry in April last year, calling for the ACT government to consider the Swedish approach to prostitution, which makes it illegal to purchase sex while providing protection for women in the sex trade.

Mr Corbell said the Government is “committed to maintaining a safe environment within the sex industry and protections for the broader community”, but the evidence demonstrates that the sex trade can never be made truly safe, either for prostituted women or the wider community. Indeed, legalisation of prostitution results in an increase in illegal prostitution and associated criminal activity.

Click here to read ACL’s submission to this inquiry.