ACT sex industry is better protected under law

Released 05/06/2012

Sex workers and their clients in Canberra are significantly better protected in terms of human rights, health and safety under ACT law, with the government committing to even further improve regulation and safety of the industry, Attorney General, Simon Corbell, said today.

Mr Corbell tabled the government's response to a committee report into the operation of the Prostitution Act 1992 in the Legislative Assembly today.

"The report found that the legislation, by recognising the sex industry as a legitimate occupation rather than criminalising it, has significantly raised the level of protection of the health and safety of sex workers in the ACT," Mr Corbell said.

"Despite these provisions, there is a need for government agencies and sex work operators to review aspects of their practices and the government will implement steps to improve these further."

The government has agreed to 12 of the 17 recommendations, including strengthening measures to prevent young people being involved in the sex industry.

The government is also examining ways to tighten up regulations on sex slavery or people trafficking in the sex industry.

Four of the recommendations are noted for possible action, subject to available resources, which relate to assistance for sex workers wishing to leave the industry, working from residential premises and registration of sole operators.

Mr Corbell said the only recommendation not supported was the suggestion to restrict police from obtaining sex workers' personal information without a warrant, as it would be inconsistent with the way ACT Policing investigate crimes.

Mr Corbell also said a working group would be established, including representatives from the sex industry and other stakeholders, to develop and oversee the implementation of the government's response to the Assembly inquiry.

"It is important that provisions exist for brothels, escort agencies and sole operators to ensure that people involved in the sex industry, either as workers or clients, are kept healthy and safe," Mr Corbell said.

"The Government is committed to maintaining a safe environment within the sex industry and protections for the broader community."

- Statement ends -

Section: Simon Corbell, MLA | Media Releases

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