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"Sex worker perceptions to be addressed at forum" Loretta Johnston, The Examiner, 22 August 2008, pg 12

The body representing Australian sex workers will hold a forum in Hobart today in an attempt to dispel myths about the industry and encourage the State Government to fund better services for Tasmanian sex workers.

Scarlet Alliance chief executive officer Janelle Fawkes said Tasmania was the only state without a sex worker-run service, which in other states and territories provides information, education, advocacy, lobbying and representation on behalf of sex workers.

"Sex workers need thier own project to help fight the high levels of stigma and discrimination experienced by sex workers in Tasmania," Ms Fawkes said.

"The understanding of sex workers and why sex workers choose this profession seems to be skewed and coming from a moralistic understanding."

"Without such a service we find sex workers are socially isolated and unsupported."

For the past two years Scarlet Alliance has resourced a pilot project funded by the Federal Government to provided (sic) health information to sex workers.

Tasmanian-based project officer Alina Thomas said during that time, Scarlet Alliance had received feedback from sex workers about the importance of establishing a dedicated service to dispel myths about the industry.

"Sex work is a legal profession that deserves the same workplace rights, support services and respect as other professions," she said.

Ms Fawkes said she was confident of a positive outcome from today's forum.