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ACTCOSS" Sex workers, rights and regulation in the ACT" June 2007

This paper by the ACT Council of Social Services, provides an overview of the legislative framework relating to sex work in the ACT. Its purpose is to identify the rights of sex workers and the legal restrictions on the sex industry. As such, it is hoped that this document will play a role in raising awareness about the rights and responsibilities of sex workers and brothel owners. It is also hoped that the recommendations below will be considered by government with a view to strengthening sex worker rights protections and improving sex worker safety and support in the ACT. At the outset, it should be acknowledged that the ACT currently leads the way nationally in protecting the rights, health and wellbeing of sex workers. However, this paper responds to reports that, despite legislative reform to prohibit discrimination against sex workers, few sex workers have sought to enforce their rights. It highlights a number of barriers to rights enforcement, including stigma, fear, scepticism and lack of awareness of rights mechanisms.

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