Greens MLC Tammy Franks today introduced a Private Member’s Bill to State Parliament for the decriminalisation of sex work in South Australia stating it was time for SA to reflect the reality of the 21st century when it came to sex work.
The proposed law is the same as the 2015 Lensink/Key Bill introduced by Michelle Lensink MLC that passed the Upper House with a clear majority (13 votes for / 8 against) but lapsed before reaching a vote in the Lower House when Parliament was prorogued for the recent state election.
Ms Franks said: “South Australia has the oldest sex work laws in the country and we desperately need law reform to finally decriminalise sex work. In this new Parliament we now have an opportunity here to make real reform that will support the human rights of some of the most vulnerable in our community. Criminalisation of sex work is quite simply both dangerous and archaic.
“The decriminalisation of sex work is a sensible reform that has strong support across human rights, women’s and health organisations. The model of decriminalisation of sex work is supported as best practice internationally no less than by the World Health Organization (WHO), Amnesty International (AI) and locally by women’s groups such as the YWCA, the Working Women's Centre (WWC), Business and Professional Women (BPW) and Zonta International, as well as, most importantly, the representatives of the 2,000 or so sex workers in our state via advocacy bodies such as Scarlet Alliance, the Sex Industry Network (SIN) and SWAGGERR.
“Decriminalisation is the model that has been in place in New Zealand for well over a decade. The sky has not fallen there in the land of the long white cloud, indeed the law has been a red umbrella of protection. The decriminalisation of sex work is a common-sense approach that safeguards the human rights of sex workers, protects them from exploitation, promotes their welfare, safety and health, and creates an environment that will be conducive to public health.
“This is an issue that transcends party lines and I look forward to the support from members of all sides of the Council and House chambers for this Bill,” Ms Franks concluded.