Victorian Greens

**ATTENTION – VICTORIAN GREENS RUNNING CANDIDATE IN RICHMOND WHO SUPPORTS HARMFUL NORDIC MODEL LAWS**

The Victorian Greens are (yet again) running a candidate, Kathleen Maltzahn, in the seat of Richmond, who has a history of supporting ‘Nordic Model’ laws. If Maltzahn is elected this increases the chances that harmful ‘Nordic Model’ laws could be passed by the Liberal Party in Victoria, as well as giving a platform to someone who has spent their career opposing sex workers’ human rights and speaking over the voices of our community.

WHAT ACTION CAN YOU TAKE *RIGHT NOW*?
Join sex workers and supporters in calling for the Victorian Greens to remove Maltzahn as a candidate and to run a candidate for Richmond that supports sex worker rights:

Two petitions are currently being run by sex worker allies calling for the Victorian Greens to remove Maltzahn as a candidate. Join sex workers and our allies in signing and sharing these petitions:

‘Greens: Stand Up for Workers – Dump Maltzahn’ on ChangeOrg:
http://www.change.org/p/senator-richard-di-natale-greens-stand-up-for-workers-dump-maltzahn

‘Stand Up for All Workers – Dump Maltzahn’ on Megaphone:
www.megaphone.org.au/petitions/stand-up-for-all-workers-dump-maltzahn


Speak out on social media about this issue:

If tweeting about the Victorian Greens and the ‘Nordic Model’:

  • ALWAYS use the hashtag #No2Nordic
  • Recommended hashtags #VicPol #SexWork and/or #RightsNotRescue
  • Include @VictorianGreens if possible

Call your local Victorian Greens MP or Victorian Greens candidate:

Call and/or email your local Victorian Greens MP or contact the Victorian Greens candidate for your electorate to tell them you want the Victorian Greens to only run candidates that support human rights for ALL people, including sex workers –

You can look up your local Victorian Greens MP here:
www.parliament.vic.gov.au/about/people-in-parliament/members-search

Information on Victorian Greens candidates, who are still being announced, is available via the Victorian Greens Facebook page here:
www.facebook.com/VictorianGreens/

Key points to raise regarding the Victorian Greens pre-selection of Maltzahn as a candidate:

  • Victorian Greens and Australian Greens OWN POLICIES supports the full decriminalisation of sex work – so why are the Victorian Greens running Maltzahn, who is on record saying that she opposes these policies?
    • Victorian Greens Policy on sex work:
      “Decriminalisation of consensual adult sex work”
      greens.org.au/policies/vic/women
      See point 21 in Women’s Policy.
    • Australian Greens Policy on sex work:
      “The decriminalisation of consensual adult sex work”
      See point 14 in Justice Policy, under ‘Aims’.
      greens.org.au/policies/justice

Key points to raise about the ‘Nordic Model’:

  • The ‘Nordic Model’ increases violence against sex workers[i]
  • The ‘Nordic Model’ hinders the ability of sex workers to report crime to police[ii]
  • The ‘Nordic Model’ reduces sex workers ability to negotiate the use of condoms[iii]
  • The ‘Nordic Model’ causes loss of income for sex workers and a deterioration of sex workers living conditions[iv]
  • The ‘Nordic Model’ does not reduce sex work[v] and there is no evidence that it reduces trafficking[vi]

WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?

If you want updates on what is happening on this issue you can follow @VixenCollective (Victoria’s peer only sex worker organisation) and @ScarletAlliance on Twitter.

Sex workers and supporters have been out in force protesting and raising awareness about this issue – keep in touch with us on social media and join us in making our voices heard!

FOR MORE INFORMATION

‘What do sex workers think about the French Prostitution Act?’
www.nswp.org/sites/nswp.org/files/en_synthesis_sw_final_2.pdf

And here, ‘Stop ignoring the evidence: client criminalisation endangers sex workers’
www.sexworkeurope.org/news/general-news/stop-ignoring-evidence-client-criminalisation-endangers-sex-workers

*NOTE – although the term ‘Nordic Model’ is often used to promote these laws they are more commonly (and correctly) referred to as ‘Swedish Model’ laws as this is where they originated. Swedish Model laws have not been introduced in all Nordic countries – for further reading on this refer here:
‘The ‘Nordic model’ of Prostitution law is a myth’, The Conversation
https://theconversation.com/the-nordic-model-of-prostitution-law-is-a-myth-21351

**UPDATE 3rd May 2018 – MALTZAHN BACKFLIP AND WHY THIS ISN’T A WIN FOR SEX WORKER RIGHTS**

Kathleen Maltzahn was quoted in the media on Thursday 3rd May, as saying that she would not vote with the Liberal Party to introduce ‘Nordic Model’ laws.  But this is NOT a win for sex worker rights in Victoria, because:

  1. Kathleen Maltzahn has NOT changed her views on the ‘Nordic Model’ – she still supports it, she has only agreed to not vote with the Liberals
  2. If Maltzahn, who opposes the rights of sex workers, is given the public platform that goes with political office – this will HARM sex workers. It will further stigma against sex workers and allows a non sex worker to continue to speak over us
  3. If Maltzahn is elected, her power in office would likely influence other negative policies that target our community and potentially funnel public funds to groups that engage in harmful practices towards sex workers and other marginalised people
  4. Maltzahn founded and remains involved in an organisation – Project (dis)Respect – that actively campaigns for the ‘Nordic Model’
  5. Maltzahn is now on record having made multiple conflicting statements as to how she would vote on the ‘Nordic Model’ – how believable is this current statement?

More information on this here:

‘A Controversial Greens Candidate Has Backflipped On Sex Worker Rights After Intense Pressure’, Junkee
junkee.com/kathleen-maltzahn-nordic-model/156839

 

**UPDATE 7th May 2018 – ANOTHER MALTZAHN BACKFLIP AND WHY THIS STILL ISN’T A WIN FOR SEX WORKER RIGHTS**

On Monday the 7th of May Kathleen Maltzahn, in yet another backflip on her previously stated views, issued a statement on her Facebook page that indicated – she would “vote in keeping with Victorian Greens policy” and will “vote against the Nordic Model, including if the Liberal Party introduces it”.
Notably missing from this statement was any indication that Maltzahn, a long-term proponent of the Nordic Model, has changed her personal views in support of these laws.
This is STILL NOT a win for sex worker rights in Victoria, because:

  1. Kathleen Maltzahn has NOT changed her views on the ‘Nordic Model’ – she still supports it,
    but has buckled to pressure not to publicly support what is now seen as Liberal Party policy.
  2. If Maltzahn, who opposes the rights of sex workers, is given the public platform that goes with political office – this will HARM sex workers. It will further stigma against sex workers and allows a non sex worker to continue to speak over us
  3. If Maltzahn is elected, her power in office would likely influence other negative policies that target our community and potentially funnel public funds to groups that engage in harmful practices towards sex workers and other marginalised people
  4. Maltzahn founded and remains involved in an organisation – Project (dis)Respect – that actively campaigns for the ‘Nordic Model’
  5. Maltzahn is now on record having made multiple conflicting statements as to how she would vote on the ‘Nordic Model’ – how believable is this current statement?

‘Greens Voters Against Kathleen Maltzahn for Richmond’ has issued a statement about this:
“Maltzahn is not fit to consider policy that relates to sex workers and she never will be. She has defiantly ignored and belittled sex workers who have tried to share with her their lived experiences. Is this the Greens approach to policy-making that affects marginalised and under-represented people? Is this the paternalistic attitude you want from the Member for Richmond?
Kathleen Maltzahn should not be eligible to stand for the Victorian Greens and she certainly does not deserve your vote.”
Read the full statement here:
www.facebook.com/greens.voters.oppose.maltzahn/?hc_ref=ARTtCxZxy2MN-ispVRhGTDsVvvfqlrelGvL9mkgYfi6jfCzJ_onJosnkfThQKvR_F-A&fref=nf

Vixen Collective has spoken out about this online, on Twitter here:
twitter.com/vixencollective/status/993410536376160256?s=21

Go online and help us raise awareness about this issue by tweeting, re-tweeting and joining the conversation.

Join us in continuing to campaign for the Victorian Greens to remove Maltzahn and run a candidate who supports sex workers rights!

 

REFERENCES

[i] “42% of sex workers are more exposed to violence than previous to the laws introduction”
‘What Do Sex Workers Think About the French Prostitution Act?: A Study on the Impact of the Law from 13 April 2016 Against the Prostitution System in France’, Helene Le Bail and Calogero Giametta, April 2018, www.nswp.org/sites/nswp.org/files/en_synthesis_sw_final_2.pdf.

[ii] “70% of sex workers observe either no improvement or a deterioration of their relations with police”.
Ibid.

[iii] “38% of sex workers find it increasingly hard to demand the use of condoms”.
Ibid.

[iv] “78% of sex workers have experienced a loss of income”.
“63% of sex workers have experience a deterioration of their living conditions”.

Ibid.

[v][v] “Swedish police: no confirmed decrease in the number of sex workers”.
‘Stop ignoring the evidence: Criminalisation of Clients Endangers Sex Workers!’, International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe (ICRSE), 17th December 2017, www.sexworkeurope.org/news/general-news/stop-ignoring-evidence-client-criminalisation-endangers-sex-workers.

[vi] Evidence is vague at best on trafficking in Sweden because The Swedish Government resources for fighting sex work and for fighting human trafficking are all bundled together – there is no policy differentiation between those two phenomena. Human trafficking is actually impossible to identify in Sweden, because it is seen as the same as sex work.”
‘The Swedish Model of criminalising sex work sine 1999 – Briefing paper: What has changed and what has stayed the same since the Swedish Government criminalised sex work over a decade ago?’, Scarlet Alliance and Rose Alliance, 10th June 2011, scarletalliance.org.au/issues/swedish_model/Swedish_briefing/.