According to Tammy Franks, “Decriminalisation of consensual sex work is supported by the World Health Organisation and Amnesty International as well as many other human rights and women’s organisations in Australia and around the world”. (1)
Prostitution or Sex Work is defined as the exchange of money for sex. In Australia attitudes towards sex work differ greatly but in general society has a fairly liberal attitude to the industry which often the law in states and territories does not reflect. State and territory laws in Australia which govern prostitution, vary considerably. (2)
South Australia has always been a leader in Social Policy but lags behind other states, such as NSW where sex work is decriminalised. Two of Australia and New Zealand’s most awarded and notable sex work advocates, Dame Catherine Healy and Julie Bates OA have been standing beside Tammy Franks to promote decriminalisation of prostitution in South Australia. (3)
Dame Catherine Healy was awarded the title of Dame in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2018and is the founding member and National Coordinator of the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective (NZPC). Healy was formerly a primary school teacher who became a sex worker in the 1980’s. She Helped draft the Prostitution Reform Act, to decriminalise sex work and to protect the rights and occupational safety of sex workers which was passed in 2003. (4)
Julie Bates was awardedan Order of Australia in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours.
She has played a large role in creating awareness of the sex worker industry as well as working for key organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO).(5)
“Greens MP Tammy Franks introduced sex work legislation into parliament last year, which she said was the 13th attempt at reform”. (6) The current Sex Work law reform bill is sponsored by Tammy Franks MLC and will be taken to an Upper House vote in June this year. Ms Franks said:
“South Australia has the oldest sex work laws in the country, and we need reform to protect the rights of people in the sex work industry. Like it or not, sex work will always be around. So it’s time our laws matched the reality of what happens not reflected the wishes of those who would rather it didn’t”.(7)
(1)(4)(5) (6)(7)Tammy Franks – Greens Member for South Australia, http://www.tammyfranks.org.au/decriminalisation_of_sex_work (accessed May 31, 2019)
Scarlet Alliance-Australian Sex Workers Association, http://www.scarletalliance.org.au/laws/sa/ (accessed May 31, 2019)
(3) (6)Puddy, Rebecca, Sex workers visit South Australian Parliament to push for decriminalisation of prostitution. ABC NEWS online, https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-28/sex-workers-visit-parliament-to-push-for-decriminalisation/10948048 (accessed May 31, 2019).
(2) Wikipedia contributors, “Prostitution in Australia,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Prostitution_in_Australia&oldid=897371963 (accessed May 30, 2019).