Submission – Crimes Legislation Amendment (Slavery, Slavery-like Conditions and People Trafficking) Bill 2012

This submission outlines why Scarlet Alliance does not support the proposed amendments to the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Slavery, Slavery-like Conditions and People Trafficking) Bill 2012. The proposed bill aims to lower the threshold of proof and increase the criminalisation of peripheral individuals in order to increase numbers of trafficking prosecutions. This submission explains the likely negative impact on sex workers, particularly migrant sex workers, outweighs any perceived gains of these changes.

Scarlet Alliance’s recommendations on the steps the Australian Government should take to prevent trafficking include:
– Providing safe, legal channels and equitable access for sex workers (particularly from lowerincome countries) to migrate to Australia. This would reduce the need for migrant sex workers to rely on third party agents to travel for work;
– Providing translated information on visa access and conditions, industrial rights, human rights, justice mechanisms and relevant laws in multiple languages. This is a key step to enhancing the rights of migrant sex workers;
– Increasing resources to multilingual peer education through culturally appropriate projects within sex-worker organisations, translated resources and community engagement. This would strengthen the human, civil and political rights of migrant sex workers and increase our autonomy, agency, self-determination and access to avenues for redress in the event of a crime;
– Decriminalise sex work to create a supportive legal framework for improved migrant and CALD sex worker rights. Decriminalisation of sex work will assist in the prevention of circumstances that cause trafficking and reduce the legal barriers in accessing support and services.