Scarlet News:


Jul 12, 2010 | Media release, News

For over a decade police have collected personal information on sex workers working at legal escort agencies in the Northern Territory. The information is then kept on a life-long police register. “The Prostitution Regulation Act does not require Police to collect information or to register sex workers. However this practice has been allowed to continue for many years,” said Janelle Fawkes, Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers Association.

“The collection of this information is not required by law and should cease immediately. This is a clear misuse of police powers, and the singling out of sex workers for unnecessary levels of surveillance is blatant discrimination and a human rights issue.”

The outcome of a community meeting of local Northern Territory sex workers on the 12th July 2010, was a renewed call for the removal of section 9 of the Prostitution Regulation Act, to ensure equality among all working Territorians.

“Scarlet Alliance supports the call by local sex workers for the repeal of section 9 of the Prostitution Regulation Act. Scarlet Alliance also calls for the immediate end to the police registration of sex workers,” said Janelle Fawkes

“At its best the registration of sex workers is a pointless waste of tax payers’ money and diverts an already overstretched police system away from more important work. At its worst this system has resulted in sex workers being denied other employment and in some cases has contributed to loss of custody of children.”

“To date we are still awaiting response to a letter from Scarlet Alliance and our membership calling for the Northern Territory Chief Minister to review the legislation.”

Appalled by the lack of action locally, Fannie Bay resident and sex worker Seranna has decided to raise awareness of the issues internationally. Seranna was successful in securing a scholarship to present her paper on the Northern Territory’s unfair and unsafe sex worker registration practices at the 18th International AIDS Conference in Vienna, Austria this week.

“Every worker, whatever their trade or profession, deserves to work free of discrimination and life long stigmatisation as a result of their industry – sex workers are no different,” Seranna said. “This week I will be using this international arena to ensure that people know of this human rights issue and the misuse of police powers.”