A staggering 84% of Territorians objecting to brothels in their neighbourhoods or rural areas wasn’t enough for the Gunner government to reject a two-person brothel system. Disregarding significant community concern, the NT Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics has approved the two-person brothel model via a Planning Scheme Amendment to the Sex Industry Act, despite opposition from 101 out of 120 submitters to the Planning Commission.Read more
The Australian Christian Lobby has today called for the government to make a clear statement that brothel activity must be completely shut down. Last night the government issued an unprecedented mandatory closure of pubs, clubs, churches, indoor sporting venues, nightclubs, casinos, gyms and theatres to limit the COVID-19 crisis.Read more
MR: ACL appears at Parliamentary inquiry into slavery, urges action on Nordic model to combat sex trafficking
For release: Tuesday, November 20, 2012
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today presented evidence linking legalised prostitution and sex trafficking to the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade.
The Human Rights Sub-Committee is holding an Inquiry into Slavery, Slavery like conditions and People Trafficking in Australia.
ACL’s chief of Staff 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.
Mr Shelton said there was evidence of sex trafficking into legal and illegal brothels making Australia a favoured market for traffickers.
A 2012 University of Goettingen study of 150 nations ranked Australia as a high volume destination country for trafficking, particularly of women from Southeast Asia.
In 2004 the UK Home Office in its landmark study of global prostitution regulation noted that “Victoria and New South Wales were the two worst states for the abuse of children through prostitution. The trafficking of East Asian women for the purpose of prostitution was also found to be a growing problem.”
The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency recently arrested 18 Korean pimps involved in the trafficking of Korean women into Australia.
As part of Australia’s efforts to reduce this problem, ACL recommended the Joint Select Committee consider the Nordic approach to prostitution, which criminalises the purchase of sex.
Under Swedish law, prostituted women are not criminally liable; it is the purchaser of sex who is committing the crime.
ACL presented evidence showing that the Nordic approach had made Sweden an unfavourable destination for traffickers of women.
“ACL submits that we cannot seriously tackle sex slavery into Australia until we join the dots between the legalisation of brothels and the demand this creates for trafficked women,” Mr Shelton said.
“We respectfully submit that pressure has to be put on State Governments to consider the Nordic policy approach in order to begin to address the scourge of sex slavery.”
Click here to read ACL's submission.
For release: Wednesday, October 31, 2012
The Australian Christian Lobby today echoed the calls of City of Vincent Mayor Alannah MacTiernan to tackle the issue of street prostitution and the ‘unpleasant environment’ it creates. Ms MacTiernan said parts of the City of Vincent were ‘hell on earth’ for residents, and that conditions were worsening.
ACL spokesperson for human trafficking and prostitution Michelle Pearse shares Ms MacTiernan’s and residents’ concerns about women being propositioned by ‘Johns’, men who use prostitutes.
“When we have women being objectified by Johns in the streets of our suburbs, it should be a real concern to all of us who live in Western Australia,” Ms Pearse said.
“We have been given a promise by the Barnett Government that this would be addressed by this parliament, but as yet, it has not been.”
The Premier also promised an investigation into the Nordic Model of prostitution regulation, which we are yet to see.
“The Nordic Model prosecutes the John, thus seriously discouraging men from harassing women in the street; if asking a woman’s price is illegal, a woman can report any of that kind of behaviour.”
Ms Pearse expressed concern with the Mayor of the City of Vincent’s solution that there were plenty of brothels in the area and that they should be used instead of the prostitutes on the street.
“Ms MacTiernan is right in that street prostitution is something that is ‘hell on earth’, but to then say it should just be happening in brothels is disheartening,” Ms Pearse said.
“Brothels are a perfect place for vulnerable, trafficked women to be hidden and their abuse continued. There is solid proof that legal brothels only increase the demand for sex and therefore the number of prostitutes in this dangerous trade.”
For release: Monday, September 3, 2012
MPs’ prostitution policy aims could be achieved through Nordic model
The Australian Christian Lobby today reiterated the importance of the Liberal Government honouring its election promise to investigate the Nordic Model of prostitution regulation.
The call comes as Liberal Member for Jandakot Joe Francis declared a ban on prostitution ‘unworkable’ and Member for Morley Ian Britza expressed his concern about the safety of women involved in prostitution, expressing a strong desire to “protect those girls.”
“That’s the beauty of the Nordic Model,” ACL’s spokesperson for Human Trafficking and Prostitution Michelle Pearse said.
“The outcomes Mr Francis and Mr Britza are seeking can be achieved through the Nordic policy and certainly won’t be achieved by following the failures of legal brothels in the eastern States.
“In Sweden the purchase of sex is banned and the women involved in prostitution, often the victims of sexual assault and rape, are encouraged to leave the industry, an industry that is intrinsically linked with danger, abuse and human trafficking in its legal and illegal forms.
“Before the last election, Premier Colin Barnett promised the Christian constituency the Nordic Model would be investigated. It is a model that has successfully limited the despicable practice of human trafficking in Sweden and seen a drop in women entering prostitution.
“We are yet to see that promise honoured,” Ms Pearse said.
ACL encourages all Christians to make their views known to their MPs but Ms Pearse emphasised the importance of engaging in the political process in a way that is respectful and honouring to all involved saying civility is the key to persuasive political engagement.
Countries that have adopted legislation similar to the Nordic Model –
- South Korea
Tuesday, 28 August, 2012
The Australian Christian Lobby today applauded the comments of the WA shadow attorney-general John Quigley as he promised opposition support in repealing Labor’s micro-brothel legislation of 2008.
“We would not permit micro-brothels to run next to residences, full stop,” the shadow attorney-general has reportedly said.
ACL’s Western Australian Director Rhys Vallance said prostitution was inherently damaging and exploitative whether in a micro or macro brothel.
“We are pleased the opposition has vowed never to return to its very unpopular legislation,” Mr Vallance said.
“What disappoints me though is the Liberal government’s continued push to legalise brothels in so called tolerance zones.
“Evidence from around the world shows the increase in the demand for prostituted women resulting from legalised prostitution creates the perfect conditions for human trafficking and exploitation of vulnerable women,” he said.
“Governments around the world have tried many different models and still struggle to control prostitution.
“The best model is that of Sweden and now other Nordic countries where the purchase of sex is made illegal and the purchaser is penalised.
“The Premier promised the Christian constituency he would investigate the Swedish model at the last state election,” said Mr Vallance.
“We are yet to see this promise fulfilled and the longer we wait, the more likely the current bill before parliament will become as unpopular as the previous legislation now to be repealed.”
Tuesday, 14th August, 2012
The Australian Christian Lobby said Tasmania Police had missed an opportunity to promote long-lasting change for the community by backing the legalisation and regulation of the sex industry in its submission to the Justice Department consultation on prostitution.
ACL’s Tasmanian Director Mark Brown said Queensland Police had adopted a similar approach prior to brothels being legalised in that state in 1999, but by any measure this approach had been a failure.
“Ninety-percent of prostitution remains unregulated in Queensland despite assurances that it would protect those involved in the trade,” Mr Brown said.
“Legalising brothels only leads to an increase in the number of women involved in prostitution, both legal and illegal. Even in the legal sector, the high risks associated with prostitution can never be eliminated.”
Mr Brown said we should never give legislative license to a trade that exposed women to such high rates of physical and sexual violence.
“In what other industry are 60-75 per cent of the workers raped, 70-95 per cent physically assaulted and 68 per cent sufferers of post traumatic stress disorder in the same range as ‘treatment seeking combat veterans’?” Mr Brown said.
“The only approach to the sex trade that has been proven to reduce the demand for prostitution, and therefore the number of vulnerable women and children trapped in the trade, was the Nordic approach,” Mr Brown said.
First implemented in Sweden, this approach criminalises the purchaser of sex and seeks to free women from the inherently harmful and exploitative trade.
“The success of this approach is clear by its adoption in other countries such as Norway, Iceland, and South Korea,” Mr Brown said.
Although this approach was at first met with criticism by the Swedish police, they now consider that the approach works well and has led to a reduction in illegal prostitution and sex trafficking.
Mr Brown said there is no evidence to suggest the Nordic approach has driven sex work “underground” as claimed by some submitters to the Justice Department consultation.
Today’s report that the Tasmanian Labor Government’s Attorney General David Bartlett does not favour legal brothels because they increase demand for prostituted women and don’t protect the vulnerable shows political leaders are waking up to the failure of normalising the sex trade in other States.
The Australian Christian Lobby’s spokesperson for human trafficking Michelle Pearse said wherever in the world, including numerous Australian States, brothels had been legalised illegal prostitution had also flourished.
“The only policy approach that has reduced demand for prostituted women has been the Swedish model which has now been taken up by Norway, Iceland and South Korea – countries which have had serious problems with human trafficking,” Ms Pearse said.
“The Swedish model does not make it a crime for a woman to be a prostitute but it does criminalise men for buying a woman for sex.
“This has dramatically reduced demand for prostituted women in Sweden with street prostitution falling by 80pc and trafficking of women to just 400 compared to 1700 in neighbouring Finland.”
Mr Bartlett told The Launceston Examiner: "...if we want to reduce demand for the sex industry in Tasmania ... a proliferation of legal brothels I don't think achieves that."
Ms Pearse said police investigations in Melbourne into a trafficking ring run from legal brothels, the death of a 17 year old girl from a drug overdose in a legal brothel in Canberra and the fact that after 10 years of regulated brothels in Queensland 90pc of the sex trade remained in the illegal sector showed legalisation had been a failure.
It was ironic that despite national and international evidence that legal brothels only compound the harm of prostitution, some State Governments such as the WA Government were still considering legal brothels.
“Women will continue to be harmed and trafficked until State Governments begin to address the demand side by cracking down on men instead of women who are the victims of what is an inherently exploitative and unequal industry.”
Contact: Katherine Spackman on 0408 875 979
As Attorney General, she flagged surrogacy for same-sex couples, euthanasia, a charter of rights and legal brothels for Parliamentary debate this year.
Given these are also supported by the Greens, which share Government with Labor in Tasmania, ACL will be working hard to activate Christians to the injustices that stem from these agendas to children and other vulnerable members of society.
Ms Giddings replaces David Bartlett who stepped down to spend more time with his family.
ACL was disappointed last year when then Mr Barlett went back on his word and formed the minority government with the Greens after the March 2010 election. He had said on the 7.30 report: “Because a back room deal with the Greens is a deal with the devil, and I'm am - am not going to sell my soul for the sake of remaining in power.”
During ACL’s Make It Count forum before the 2010 election, Mr Bartlett had made a commitment to further examine the Swedish model for criminalising men for purchasing sex, rather than legalising brothels. The ACL hopes Ms Giddings will honour this commitment.
Legalising brothels has been a clear failure everywhere it has occurred and Government policies which force brothels on unwilling communities are yet another example of this failure. Despite all the claims, legalising and regulating brothels does nothing to prevent child exploitation or harm against women.
This is further evidenced by heart-breaking news of a mother on the NSW south coast who has been found guilty of forcing her 16-year-old daughter to work as a prostitute. Click here for more details.
Meanwhile, ACL has this week voiced concerns that genuine solutions to stop child prostitution in Tasmania could be ‘swept under the carpet’ following the Government’s decision not to re-appoint Paul Mason as Children’s Commissioner when his term expires tomorrow (Friday).
In a recent report, Mr Mason made a number of worthwhile recommendations which put the welfare of vulnerable children above bureaucracy and vested interests in response to the appalling case of a 12-year-old girl being prostituted to more than 100 men. ACL is concerned about what will now become of these recommendations. Click here for more details.