Victoria Decriminalises Prostitution

The state government of Victoria, Australia, has decriminalised the prostitution industry. Decriminalisation of prostitution is generally a legislative position adopted by people who believe in sexual liberalisation and has very little to do with protecting people who work in the sex trade. It may mean sex industry workers are safe from being prosecuted but the fact is that the answer to criminalisation of prostitution has always been to make it a criminal offence to purchase sexual services rather than to provide them. This is called the “Nordic Model”, and it is the law in Sweden, Iceland, Norway, Canada, France, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Israel.

Collective Shout, a feminist organisation in Australia, claim that the Victorian Government deliberately excluded hearing submissions from women who had left the sex industry and considered this an abuse of process by the review committee. Furthermore, as Collective Shout questioned, the Victorian Government appointed a long-time campaigner for the sex industry business to lead the review. It thus can be seen that the whole process was a foregone conclusion with a predetermined outcome. The same could be said to be true of the decriminalisation of prostitution in New Zealand some 20 or more years ago.

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