Scarlet News:


Jun 16, 2009 | Media release, News

“Up until now the Australian Government’s response to trafficking has been focussed on surveillance, detection and prosecution of trafficking.” said Elena Jeffreys, President, Scarlet Alliance. “It is vital that Australia makes the shift to a preventative approach that includes further visa reform and education.”

“Scarlet Alliance welcomes today’s announcement of improved support for trafficking victims as it contributes but it should go further.” said Elena Jeffreys, Scarlet Alliance. “As the next step the prevention of trafficking must include a visa framework for migrant sex workers who would otherwise be in a debt contract.”

“There are significant barriers to persons seeking to work legally in Australia’s sex industry which result in people opting for a debt contract. Scarlet Alliance would hope to see a program of prevention activities focused on informing sex workers about their rights and responsibilities when they are considering migrating to Australia to work in the sex industry.” Elena Jeffreys said today. “Our sex industry is legal, unlike in the countries of origin of the people currently experiencing trafficking related issues. Due to the illegality of sex work in their home countries, sex workers face barriers to accessing correct information on their options for travelling for lawful work into Australia.”

“Although working visas should enable sex workers from South Korea to enter Australia legally a lack of awareness of this option and the perception that the sex industry will be illegal in Australia as it is in South Korea, results in people opting for a contract rather than entering independently through a working visa.” said Elena Jeffreys. “In countries that do not have working visa options, including Thailand and China, a visa framework appropriate for migrant sex workers needs to be established.”

“Australia should investigate options for offering visas to sex workers, allowing them to apply to travel for work as independent sex workers, removing the need to use a broker or agent, which may expose them to a trafficking risk.” said Elena Jeffreys, President, Scarlet Alliance.