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Scarlet Alliance "Rights and Responsibilities Consultation: Sex worker human rights must be on the agenda" 2015

Thank you for the opportunity to provide a submission as part of the Rights and Responsibilities consultation. We have read and understand the Discussion Paper and the Commission’s Submission Policy and provide the following information from Scarlet Alliance policy documentation developed in consultation with our Executive, membership and staff. Sex worker human rights and freedoms are not well protected in Australia. There are many examples of legislation, policies and practices by government that unduly restrict the exercise of human rights and freedoms by sex workers. There are a number of steps the government can take to improve sex workers access to human rights and promote a culture of respect for human rights of sex workers in Australia. Scarlet Alliance is the Australian Sex Workers’ Association, formed in 1989. Scarlet Alliance is Australia’s national peak body representing a membership of individual sex workers, and sex worker networks, groups and community-based projects and organisations from around Australia. Each year a National Forum and Annual General Meeting is held, where key policies are developed, an Executive and spokespersons are elected and workshops on issues for sex workers are conducted. Our attached submission outlines the ongoing and systemic human rights issues affecting sex workers in Australia and recommends the immediate decriminalisation of sex work across all state and territories alongside the establishment of anti-discrimination protections for sex workers at federal and state levels. The evidence presented below demonstrates that these measures are necessary to ensure Australia meets its international human rights obligations. Please do not hesitate to contact me at our head office in Sydney to discuss these issues further. We look forward to working with you to improve sex worker access to human rights in Australia as a matter of priority and international significance.
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