Joint Submission to Inquiry Into Serious Vilification And Hate Crimes with Respect Inc

Scarlet Alliance joint submission to the Inquiry Into Serious Vilification And Hate Crimes with Respect Inc on August 25, 2021.

“The Anti Discrimination Act 1991 currently does not provide any anti-vilification protection for sex workers in Queensland. Sex workers experience vilification from members of the general public, the media, organisations, law enforcement and government actors and agenices. The lack of anti-vilification protection is compounded by the sex work laws and licensing framework in Queensland, which results in many sex workers facing criminalisation. Criminalisation frames sex work as ‘criminal’ and in need of harsh state regulation. This framing is in and of itself vilifying and directly contributes to the broader community being able to enact vilification against sex workers and those associated with sex workers with impunity and justification. This combination forms a major barrier for sex workers accessing justice for acts of serious vilification and hate crime, which results in many experiences going undocumented, unreported and unrecognised. To address the siginificant barriers that sex workers face in reporting crime, discrimination and vilifciation in Queensland, the government should: decriminalise sex work in Queensland, include sex workers in anti-discrimination and anti-vilification law (specifically as a ‘ground’ under s 124A and s131A) and ensure that protections under the Human Rights Act 2019 apply equitably to sex workers and sex work legislation. These four components are essential to ensuring that we have access to the same rights, protections and redress as other Queensland workers and citizens.”