“SA MPs should note that former prostitutes are among many who are outraged at the UN’s call to decriminalise pimping, brothel-keeping and buying sex,” FamilyVoice research officer Ros Phillips said today. “They should think twice before supporting Steph Key’s Decriminalisation of Sex Work Bill 2013, which is listed as number four on the Notice Paper for Thursday and could reach a second reading vote.”
Stella Marr, a former prostitute and founder of the US group Sex Trafficking Survivors United, said few people are prostitutes by genuine choice, too many end up murdered and the vast majority would leave the trade if they felt there was a viable alternative. Protesters also pointed out that decriminalisation provides an attractive environment for traffickers, pimps and organised crime.
“There has been a huge increase in advertisements which talk about ‘Asian ladies’ in SA newspapers in recent years,” Ros Phillips said. “A recent informal survey found that about 90 of the 120 brothels known to be operating in Adelaide were staffed by Asian women – massively out of proportion to the percentage of Asians in our population. It is likely that many of these women have been recruited by Asian pimps.
“Imagine how much worse the situation would be if Steph Key’s bill was passed!”
Legalised prostitution leads to growth in trafficking
Ros Phillips cited a recent London School of Economics report showing that legalisation of prostitution in the Netherlands, Germany and New Zealand had led to increases in human trafficking.
“Sweden, on the other hand, cut its rate of sex trafficking by enforcing laws against brothels, pimping and procuring, by adding a new law against the purchase or attempted purchase of sexual services and developing effective exit programs for sex workers,” she said.
“Most South Australians have no idea what Steph Key’s Decriminalisation of Sex Work Bill is all about. When I say it would repeal almost all laws against street prostitution, brothels, pimping and procuring, they are horrified.
“SA MPs should look instead to the Swedish solution,” Ros Phillips said.
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