Sex Workers Demand Anti-Discrimination Protections: Australian Sex Workers Association National Conference in Brisbane, November 2008
Scarlet Alliance, the Australian Sex Workers Association, holds its national meeting in Brisbane this week, with sex workers attending from all over Australia, discussing laws, rights and anti-discrimination protections. The national group has been meeting since 1989 and continues to be the leading voice for sex workers in Australia.
"Sex workers in Australia work in legal, decriminalised and tolerated environments," Janelle Fawkes, CEO of Scarlet Alliance said at their national meeting today. "Sex work workplaces are legitimate, sex work is legitimate, and our sex worker voices are legitimate. We want anti-discrimination laws to make sex worker rights legitimate as well."
The annual meeting is held in a different city each year, attracts Australian sex worker representatives and international visitors, and is the premier Australian networking event for sex workers.
Queensland currently leads Australia in anti-discrimination protections for sex workers. These laws have been tested in a variety of ways, and Queensland sex workers have been able to access civil rights including equity in advertising costs. Sex workers in other state and territory jurisdictions are waiting for similar rights to be granted to them.
"Anti-discrimination protections in Australia are a patchwork of laws," Janelle Fawkes clarified today. "We need each state and territory Government to step up to the challenge of protecting the human rights of sex workers, and catch up with Queensland."
"It’s not acceptable to discriminate against sex workers in Queensland," Janelle Fawkes concluded today. "We applaud the work that has been done already in Queensland, and are looking forward to continuing to lobby in other states and territories to meet the benchmark set by Queensland."