A brothel in Rydalmere, Sydney
This week’s report of a NSW parliamentary inquiry on brothel regulation is “appalling”, FamilyVoice national research officer Ros Phillips said today.
“The select committee has found that NSW prostitutes suffer violence, mental health issues, homelessness, drug abuse and sex slavery – yet wants to further entrench problems with a licensing system.”
Ros Phillips said NSW’s model of decriminalised prostitution clearly isn’t working. “Just look at Hornsby Shire Council, which spent over $100,000 in a failed bid to close just one illegal brothel,” she said.
“Sydney has been called ‘the Amsterdam of the South Pacific’ – although even that label fails to highlight the suffering of vulnerable women.”
The parliamentary report states that the current decriminalisation model should remain – but recommends most of the elements of a Victorian-style licensing system.
Ros Phillips urged state MPs to consider problems raised in the report, but then consider the “Nordic model” as a solution.
The Nordic model criminalises the purchase of sex as well as procuring, pimping and running a brothel. By removing demand, the system has proven highly effective in Sweden and has been adopted by other countries.
“Parliament can’t merely tinker with a broken system that causes so much suffering,” she said. “We need to empower police, provide safety to prostitutes, and reduce trafficking and demand. We need the Nordic model.”
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