Sex Work

Sex work is a legitimate form of labour that should be decriminalised. Sex workers deserve the same rights and representations that workers in other industries have.

Stigma and discrimination are common barriers to the well-being of sex workers on or off the job. Therefore programs that reduce stigma and discrimination should be designed in consultation with peer-to-peer based sex worker services1. These programs should then be implemented in consultation with these services.

The most effective way to ensure the rights, health and safety of sex workers is through full decriminalisation2 of voluntary adult sex work.

Aims

The Greens (WA) want:

  • the full decriminalisation of voluntary adult sex work in Western Australia
  • improvement of working conditions and safety in all sectors of sex work
  • elimination of the stigma that impedes the professional conduct of sex work and endangers sex workers' well-being
  • sex work to be recognised as a legitimate form of employment (see also The Greens (WA) Workplace Relations policy)

Measures

The Greens (WA) will initiate and support legislation and actions that:

  • prioritise sex worker voices when drafting legislation related to the sex work industry
  • include sex work as a protected class in legislation, including the Anti-Discrimination Act, the Sex Discrimination Act and the Fair Work Act
  • decriminalise and regulate the promotion of sex work
  • prevent the creation of a registry for sex workers
  • working with peer-based sex worker services:
    • initiate sex work discrimination and reduction programs specifically for police and health care workers;
    • initiate a sex work discrimination and stigma reduction campaign for the public;
    • include sex work discrimination and stigma reduction programs in the sex education curriculum; and
    • provide appropriate support to disabled sex workers.
  • address the common belief that sex work is more exploitative than other forms of employment
  • ensure that police officers are aware of the legal rights of sex workers and the legal status of their work (see also The Greens (WA) Justice policy)
  • provide public funding for peer-based advocacy groups
  • continue funding and support for peer-based sex worker services, especially to increase outreach to private, culturally and linguistically diverse and rural-based sex workers
  • develop drug and alcohol harm reduction programs specific to sex workers, and support full drug decriminalisation (see also The Greens (WA) Drugs policy)
  • establish Occupational Health and Safety codes for all aspects of the industry
  • ensure that insurance providers do not discriminate on coverage based on employment in, or experience with, the sex industry
  • ensure every sex worker's right to refuse service
  • have reasonable and necessary supports for the sexual expression and health of disabled people by allowing NDIS plans to fund therapeutic sexual services (see also The Greens (WA) Disability policy)
  • ensure that financial institutions do not discriminate
  • ensure that sex workers who offer fetish services are not discriminated against by banks, health providers and others on the basis of the type of services they offer
  • fund ongoing research into improving working conditions and on-job safety
  • develop systems to assist sex workers to transition to other industries where desired

Glossary

  1. Peer-based services - Services specific to an affected community provided by members of that community. Peer-based organisations and services are founded on the idea that marginalised groups would be more comfortable disclosing information to their peers rather than health or justice services
  2. Decriminalisation - Under a decriminalised system, sex industry businesses are treated like any other business. They are subject to existing regulatory mechanisms such as: local council planning; zoning and location controls; workers compensation requirements; occupational health and safety standards; and industrial rights obligations. Decriminalisation does not mean no regulation - it means whole of government regulation. Importantly, police are not involved as regulators at any level unless there is a breach of law.

The Sex Work policy ratified by The Greens (WA) in 2020

The Greens (WA) spokesperson for sex work is Alison Xamon MLC