Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Queensland to decriminalise sex industry

An independent review by the Queensland Law Reform Commission (QLRC) of a decriminalised sex work industry in the state has been finalised, making 47 recommendations and providing a supportive framework for implementation.

The Queensland Government has indicated its broad support for the recommendations and announced its commitment to decriminalising sex work in Queensland.

The QLRC review included extensive evidence-based research and consultation with stakeholder groups and the public, while considering laws in other Australian jurisdictions, including the Northern Territory, Victoria, NSW and New Zealand.

“As part of its review, the QLRC found that a majority of submissions from across the State were overwhelmingly opposed to any continued criminal law specifically targeting sex workers,” said Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Shannon Fentiman.

“The Law Reform Commission found that the current laws stigmatise sex workers, increase their vulnerability to exploitation and violence and fail to protect their human rights.”

Findings note the need for a modernisation of Queensland laws and legislation surrounding the sex work industry, with the same general laws applying to businesses and workers without discrimination.

“The review has provided the opportunity to consider how best to modernise our laws, support business in the state, and reduce discrimination and stigma associated with workers in the sex work industry,” said Minister Fentiman.

Recommendations include changes to the current licensing system and removing barriers to workers using safety strategies which are currently criminalised.

While the QLRC’s recommendations did not include regulation of the adult entertainment industry or amendments to the Liquor Act 1992, the Queensland Government will work with relevant stakeholders to consider these issues.

“We will now consider how to best implement laws and regulations that will afford sex workers the same rights and legal protections as any other business or industry.”

“I’d like to thank the QLRC and its staff for their comprehensive work preparing recommendations for a decriminalised framework that will now be thoroughly examined by the State Government,” Ms Fentiman said.

The Queensland Government will undertake consultation on any future legislation to implement a decriminalised framework.

A copy of the report: ‘A decriminalised sex-work industry for Queensland’ is available online at: http://qlrc.qld.gov.au/publications.

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