Scarlet Alliance and Vixen Collective submission to the Review into the Decriminalisation of Sex Work on July 20, 2020.
“The Victorian sex industry is subject to a strict licensing and registration system that is governed by the Sex Work Act 1994 (Vic), Sex Work Regulations 2016 (Vic) and the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (Vic). There are also a number of other federal and state-based laws and policies that the sex industry must abide by which cover:
- occupational health and safety.
- discrimination and harassment.
The Victorian licensing and registration system have created a two-tiered sex industry where a small percentage of the industry can meet the onerous compliance requirements while the majority of the industry is forced to operate outside of the legal framework. Licensing and registration impinge on sex workers’ safety, limits sex workers’ choices over our work environment and exacerbates power imbalances between sex workers and sex industry owners and operators. It is also costly to enforce, has been specifically named as a barrier to sex workers’ health, and violates our human rights. In addition, when police are positioned as monitors and enforcers of sex industry regulation, sex workers are deterred from accessing justice as using the services of the police can result in surveillance or being shut down, fined, and even deported.”