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NT Sex Industry Bill

Today the Economic Policy and Scrutiny Committee will be holding a public hearing into the Northern Territory Sex Industry Bill, 2019. This public hearing will provide further opportunity for sex workers through the Sex Worker Reference Group (SWRG), the SWOP NT and the Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers Association to provide testimony and evidence about why sex workers need the full decriminalisation of sex work in the NT through support of the Sex Industry Bill 2019. Scarlet Alliance will be appearing at 8:30-8:50am at the public hearing and SWOP NT along with NTAHC and AFAO will also be appearing publically at 11:10-11:30am. Additionally a number of local sex workers will be testifying at the hearing alongside representatives from SWOP NT’s Sex Worker Reference Group in camera.

SWOP NT Coordinator, Leanne Melling states, “We acknowledge with appreciation the sensitivity shown by the Committee, and all NT Parliamentarians in honoring the request of local sex workers to appear at the hearing anonymously. This is due to stigma and discrimination and the current criminal status for the majority of sex workers in the NT. For these reasons sex workers must be able to testify confidentially and be able to present with confidence the actual picture of sex work in the NT, without fear of negative consequences.”

Sex workers have long been campaigning for the full decriminalisation of sex work in the NT to enable access to rights, health and safety at work. The current legislation in the NT provides no protections for sex workers and places sex workers at risk. The changes proposed in the Sex Industry Bill 2019, are critical elements in ensuring workplace, health, safety and rights for sex workers in the NT.

“Far from no regulation, this bill will allow for the transparent operation of the sex industry, subject to the same regulations and protections as other businesses such as work health and safety, planning, taxation, industrial laws and guidelines. The removal of criminal penalties will allow for sex workers to report crimes against us and document unsafe working conditions.” Says Jules Kim, CEO of Scarlet Alliance.

Sex workers wish to recognise the positive example set by the Attorney General Hon. Natasha Fyles in maintaining a strong partnership approach through active consultation and engagement throughout the process with sex workers, our organisations and our association.

Details of the Public Hearing:
ECONOMIC POLICY SCRUTINY COMMITTEE PUBLIC HEARING Sex Industry Bill 2019
Litchfield Room, Level 3, Parliament House
8.30 am - 12.15 pm, Tuesday, 29 October 2019
Live stream: https://parliament.nt.gov.au/about/broadcast

For further comment:
Leanne Melling, Co-ordinator, SWOP NT. Mobile: 0447 022 332
Jules Kim, CEO, Scarlet Alliance. Mobile: 0411 985 135