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Pages tagged "Swedish Model"
Federal slavery inquiry ignores Swedish legislative approach to combating human trafficking
· June 27, 2013 10:00 AM
A federal inquiry into slavery and people trafficking ignored calls to criminalise the purchase of sexual services like Sweden has done as part of the solution to preventing human trafficking in Australia, despite hearing evidence that most trafficked victims are women who’ve been exploited in the sex industry.
The House of Representatives’ Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade handed down its report Trading Lives: Modern Day Human Trafficking on Monday the 24th of June making eight recommendations including introducing a compensation scheme for victims of trafficking, developing fact sheets for visa applicants on their rights as part of the visa application process and utilising the UK Internet Watch Foundation’s URL list to block access to child abuse sites in Australia.
The report showed a link between people trafficking and the sex industry. Since 2004 the Australian Federal Police have undertaken 375 investigations and assessments into allegations of trafficking in persons, slavery and slavery-like practices. 209 suspected victims of trafficking in persons and slavery were provided government support through the Support for Trafficked People Program. In the report (chapter 5, page 71) it says of the 209 suspected victims, 164 (78%) were trafficked into the sex industry.
The report acknowledged evidence given by the Victorian Police to the inquiry (Chapter 3, page 19) that it had encountered trafficking in Victoria primarily around the sex industry. It also quotes the Australian Crime Commission evidence (ACC) (chapter 3, page 23) that most victims of trafficking in Australia have been women trafficked for the purpose of exploitation in the sex industry (in both legal and illegal brothels). The ACC had shown that 70 per cent of its investigations related to trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation and the remainder related to exploitation in other industries.
Despite acknowledging the Swedish Model and ACL’s calls for the federal government to put pressure on the state and territory governments to consider the Nordic policy approach, the report (chapter 7, page 95-97) dismisses the Swedish approach as part of a solution to the problem of human trafficking.
It quotes the Attorney-General’s Department (AGD) view that the ‘Swedish Model’ was ‘unlikely to be an effective strategy for combating slavery, slavery-like practices or people trafficking’. It is disappointing that AGD along with the Law Council of Australia has formed this view against evidence groups like the ACL presented to the inquiry to show that the Swedish Model has had a positive impact on stopping human trafficking. In a country that promotes gender equality it’s a sad fact that women are being trafficked here and sold for sex.
In ACL’s submission to the inquiry it had quoted evidence from Max Waltman’s 2011 paper “Sweden’s Prohibition of purchase of sex: The law’s reasons, impact, and potential”. Waltman had quoted the Swedish Ministry of Justice: “Studies of wiretaps in cases of procurement human trafficking also indicate that the demand in Sweden is not as great as the procurers and human traffickers would like. According to the Swedish Police, it is obvious that the ban against the purchase of sexual services works as a barrier for human traffickers and procurers to establish themselves in Sweden.”
The inquiry, which was announced in August 2012 by Minister for Foreign Affairs, The Hon Senator Bob Carr, had received 74 submissions and public hearings were held between October 2012 and May 2013.
The ACL, along with many other organisations including Collective Shout, the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women Australia (CATWA), and Family Voice Australia, had made submissions to highlight the problem of trafficking of women for sexual servitude and called for Swedish type legislation which criminalises the purchase (but not the sale) of sexual services. The ACL’s then Chief of Staff Lyle Shelton and Research Officer Daniel Simon appeared at the inquiry to give evidence relating to the submission on Tuesday the 20th November 2012.
Other recommendations the committee made include the Australian Government reviewing the People Trafficking Visa Framework and the Support of People Trafficking Programs; getting the Government to negotiate re-funding of contracts for non-government organisations one year ahead of contract’s conclusion; undertaking a review to establish anti-trafficking and anti-slavery mechanisms appropriate for the Australian context with the objective of improving transparency in supply changes, introducing a labelling and certifications strategy for products and services that have been produced ethically, and increasing the prominence of fair trade in Australia; the Australian Government continue to use international forums including the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review to combat people trafficking.
Read the ACL’s submission to the inquiry
Read about the ACL’s appearance at the inquiry
To read the House of Representatives’ Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade report click
MR: ACL urges prostitution reform in WA
· May 31, 2013 10:00 AM
Friday, 31st May 2013
The Australian Christian Lobby has welcomed the conviction of three men in Perth for purchasing women for sex but says there is still a need for law reform.
ACL spokesperson on prostitution and human trafficking Wendy Francis said the high number of cases of street prostitution highlighted a culture of belief that there is nothing wrong with a man purchasing a woman’s body for sex.
“In purchasing a woman’s body for sex, it allows men to see women as objects and to be used for their personal gratification. Women in prostitution are constantly at risk of violence and abuse from the men who use them,” she said.
“Many women in prostitution are vulnerable - which was shown in the 2010 study into the Sex Industry in Western Australia. For instance, it showed there are higher rates of drug injection amongst street prostitutes.”
Mrs Francis welcomed City of Vincent Mayor Alannah MacTiernan’s desire to see the demand for street prostitution dealt with but said further law reform was needed.
“The current system of criminalising prostitution in West Australia doesn’t encourage women to seek help and a better solution would be to make the purchase of sex, which focuses on the demand from men, illegal,” she said.
“This approach was implemented in Sweden more than a decade ago and street prostitution there is now almost non-existent.
“The Swedish or Nordic Model of prostitution regulation, has proven so successful that now Iceland, Norway, South Korea and Israel have some form of this model in their own countries.
“Legalising brothels has been a failed experiment in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria and led to increased demand for sexual services. It would be great to see Western Australia lead the nation in introducing the Nordic Model that deals so well with street and other prostitution,” Mrs Francis said.
MR: Legalising brothels not the answer to protecting women in WA
· April 08, 2013 10:00 AM
Monday, April 8, 2013
The Australian Christian Lobby today backed a push to oppose the reintroduction of legislation legalising brothels in Western Australia.
“Legalising brothels is a failed experiment and we know there is a link between legal brothels and human trafficking,” said Wendy Francis, ACL spokesperson on Prostitution and Human Trafficking.
“There is a disproportionate number of overseas and overseas-born women in prostitution and many have limited English skills which should send alarm bells to society.
“The 2010 The Sex Industry in Western Australia report showed that about half of prostituted men and women in Perth were not born in Australia and almost one in five rated their skills as ‘fair’ or ‘poor’.
“Increasingly we’re hearing stories of women being trafficked to Australia from south-east Asia and sold for sex. Only last year 18 men in South Korea were arrested for pimping women to Sydney and Melbourne,” she said.
Mrs Francis welcomed comments from Member for Southern River Peter Abetz for the government to send a delegation to Sweden to investigate the Nordic approach when it comes to prostitution reform which criminalises the purchase of sex and tackles the demand from ‘Johns’.
“ACL has made many submissions state and territory parliaments in Australia advocating this approach, but the best thing would be for Western Australian MPs to visit Sweden and see for themselves how it’s impacted society and the number of women being trafficked to the country.
Christian leaders raised the Nordic model with the Premier Colin Barnett and Opposition leader Mark McGowan at a pre-election forum attended by 800 people in February.
Mr Barnett encouraged MPs to use their travel entitlement to investigate the Nordic approach.
'The Government should send a delegation to Nordic and other countries which have adopted this successful policy approach to a difficult issue,' Ms Francis said.
“If Australia is really concerned about equality between men and women then prostitution reform is one area where we can encourage a healthy view of womanhood where they’re not viewed as objects available on demand for men’s pleasure,” she said.
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