Scarlet News:

Sex Worker Input on the Australian Disability Royal Commission (ADRC)

Nov 4, 2022 | News

Are you a sex worker with disability? Get involved with the Australian Disability Royal Commission.

Scarlet Alliance, with additional policy and counselling capacity generously provided by SWOP NSW, is working to support sex workers with disability to provide input into the Australian Disability Royal Commission (ADRC).

The ADRC is seeking submissions, entries, interviews and information from people with disability about ‘preventing and responding to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation’ of people with disability.

A small cohort of sex workers with disability from our member organisations have provided input on how this consultation can be accessed by as many sex workers as possible. We are pleased to offer a multi-input consultation with the following options. We are inviting sex workers with disability to contribute in one or more of the following ways:

1. Attend our three 90-minute Google Meet (video conference) roundtables

Roundtable 1: Will focus on Income and Employment issues and be on 2 November from 1-2:30pm.

Roundtable 2: Will focus on Medical and Health issues and be on 14 November from 11-12:30pm.

Roundtable 3: Will focus on issues brought up throughout the consultations and be on 16 November from 6:00-7:30pm.

You may be able to go in person to your local sex worker peer organization to participate in the Google Meet roundtables. See our registration form for more information.

2. Complete our survey.

3. Write your own submission to the ADRC, with guidance from our Info Kit.

These consultations are strictly for current and former sex workers with disability. We ask other sex workers to please leave space for their voices by not participating. This is inclusive of any sex worker who identifies as disabled or having a disability, whether or not they have been provided with a diagnosis by a medical professional. This also includes sex workers who experience mental health conditions and/or identify as neurodiverse.

Roundtable Information

You can attend as many of the Google Meet roundtables as you would like (e.g., attending half of one or all three). You can register for a roundtable here.

While each roundtable will have a ‘focus’ topic, we will also allow around 15 minutes for discussion about other issues. Because we will have limited time, we will facilitate in a way that allows as many people to participate as possible.

Access Information

We will use closed captions, a break at 45 minutes, use the chat and video function simultaneously, have a shared protocol for talking/taking turns, and invite participants to check in and out of the discussion as they need to.

We are prioritizing making this process accessible, so if you have any questions or suggestions about increasing accessibility, please leave a message for Ellie at SWOP NSW on ellie@swop.org.au or 02 9184 9466; or contact Scarlet Alliance on npm@scarletalliance.org.au.

Talking about experiences of stigma, discrimination, harm and exploitation can be challenging, and we encourage participants to consider their own emotional well-being and take care before and after their participation. SWOP NSW’s in-house counsellor Maggie, will be available for one-off counselling. We will also provide available referrals for external mental health support on the calls.

You can attend or participate anonymously in any of the methods above. We will anonymize everyone’s identifiable details in our final report to the Australian Disability Royal Commission.

Submissions Information

In addition to or instead of participation in the Roundtables, you can also make an individual submission to the ADRC through a group process facilitated by staff from SWOP NSW and Scarlet Alliance, or submit directly to the ADRC.

The group sex worker submission will consist of:

  • discussion of issues raised in (or quotes from) the three video conference roundtables
  • a summary of the relevant survey data
  • direct quotes from the survey (where consent is given by the participant)
  • individual submissions provided to us as emails, voice recordings, artworks, or written submissions (with consent from the participant)
  • information about key issues currently facing sex workers in Australia, and how these compound for sex workers with disability.

For more information on contributing your own individual submission, see our ADRC Info Kit.

You can make a submission in whatever form suits you best, including

  • A written submission
  • Audio/voice recording
  • Video recording
  • Art (poetry, music, drawing)
  • Phone call to the Commission

The ADRC can provide an interpreter over the phone if you need. Please note that this call will be with a staff member at the ADRC, not be with a sex worker peer. Ph: 1800 517 199 한국어 – 中文 – ภาษาไทย – اللغة العربية

Survey Information

Scarlet Alliance and SWOP NSW have developed a survey about the experiences of sex workers with disability that will inform our report to the ADRC. Responses can be as brief or long as you like, and can be completed online. Alternatively, you can respond with a voice recording, on paper, or via email. Click here to take the survey. If you would like to respond to its questions in an alternative format, you can send your input to ellie@swop.org.au or npm@scarletalliance.org.au. The deadline for survey responses is 21 November.