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WORLD RENOWNED, BEST PRACTICE MODEL OF SEX WORK DECRIMINALISATION TO REMAIN IN NSW 10 May 2016

Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers Association; SWOP NSW and Touching Base welcome the NSW Government’s decision to not support a licensing system in response to the Legislative Assembly Inquiry into the Regulation of Brothels.

Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers Association; SWOP NSW and Touching Base welcome the NSW Government’s decision to not support a licensing system in response to the Legislative Assembly Inquiry into the Regulation of Brothels.

In its response to the final report of the Select Committee on the Regulation of Brothels, the NSW Government is unequivocal in its decision that licensing of brothels or sex workers should not be introduced in NSW as this will in effect recriminalise sex workers, resulting in lowered health outcomes. The response states that a licensing model “would be high cost and risk creating incentives for non-compliance.”

Scarlet Alliance CEO, Jules Kim states, “It is a relief to see good sense has prevailed. Decriminalisation of sex work has delivered outstanding outcomes for sex workers’ health and safety and that of the general community. Licensing and the re-introduction of the police as regulators would have been a significant step backwards. This is a happy occasion where the overwhelming evidence has triumphed”.

The response recommends that police remain in their role as enforcement of criminal law and not become regulators of the sex industry. One of the drivers behind decriminalisation of sex work in NSW was the widespread police corruption in the sex industry, an issue which decriminalisation successful resolved.

“Touching Base is very relieved to see the NSW Government take a sensible evidence–based approach to reject brothel licensing and discard the ill-considered idea of a brothel police squad”, said Saul Isbister, President of Touching Base Inc. “Our year-long research project with University of Technology Sydney last year clearly showed the real problem is local councils ignoring the basic planning principle of equity and refusing to make evidence-based planning decisions.” Of note, when the report of the Select Committee on the Regulation of Brothels first came out in November, half of the committee dissented on the report’s flawed recommendations.

“Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP) is very pleased to see the explicit endorsement of the current system of decriminalisation of sex work by the NSW Government and would like to thank the Premier, The Hon. Mike Baird, and the Minister for Health, The Hon. Jillian Skinner for the parts they played in achieving this outcome.” Cameron Cox CEO of SWOP said today.

SWOP NSW, Touching Base and Scarlet Alliance would like to particularly acknowledge Mr Alex Greenwich, Ms Jo Haylen and Ms Kathy Smith for their outstanding work and support for the continued decriminalisation of sex work, as members of the Legislative Assembly Select Committee on the Regulation of Brothels.

For media comment please call the Scarlet Alliance CEO Jules Kim on 0411 985 135, SWOP NSW CEO Cam Cox on 0407 709 947, or Touching Base President Saul Isbister on 0424 591 409