“The federal inquiry into slavery and people trafficking has acknowledged a link between people trafficking and the sex industry in its recent report, but its recommendations are insufficient to tackle this growing problem,” FamilyVoice research officer Ros Phillips said today.
The joint standing committee conducting the inquiry has ignored calls to criminalise the purchase of sexual services as Sweden has done, despite hearing evidence that most victims of trafficking are women exploited by the sex industry.
“FamilyVoice recommended that purchasing a sexual act with a person in sexual servitude should be made a new strict liability offence (see report, p 95),” FamilyVoice research officer Ros Phillips said. “That recommendation has been ignored.”
In Sweden, ten years after it tightened and enforced laws against the sex trade, an independent evaluation found Sweden to be an undesirable destination for traffickers because fewer men buy sex. Sweden now has the lowest incidence of sex trafficking in the entire European Union.*
“The Swedish model has been so successful that Norway and South Korea have adopted similar legislation. France is considering criminalising the purchase of sex. Even the Netherlands has recently admitted that its decision in 2000 to legalise brothels has failed to stem human trafficking and is investigating the Nordic model,” Ros Phillips said.
“Asian brothels are booming in our country. Many girls are suffering. Why is Australia ignoring an effective solution?”
Read more in the FamilyVoice VoxBrief, Prostitution: which laws protect women?
- Government and society