Victorian Liberal Party

**ATTENTION – TAKE ACTION AGAINST PROPOSED ‘NORDIC MODEL’ LAWS IN VICTORIA**

The Victorian Liberal Party just passed a motion to support harsh ‘Nordic Model’* laws for sex work regulation in Victoria. These ‘Nordic Model’ laws are “end demand” laws – meant to drive sex work out of existence.

If passed these laws would make work (and life) incredibly difficult and unsafe for sex workers in Victoria.

 

WHY SHOULD THIS MATTER TO YOU?

– Sex workers rights are human rights, if you believe in and support human rights – SUPPORT SEX WORKER RIGHTS!

– Sex workers, health and human rights organisations stand in opposition to the ‘Nordic Model’ – STAND WITH US!

– ‘Nordic Model’ laws not only undermine the rights of sex workers, they also criminalise our clients, if that is YOU – then don’t support parties or candidates pushing for this – MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!

– ‘Nordic Model’ laws are not only a failure, but actively HARM sex workers – don’t be idle while sex workers are put at risk – TAKE ACTION!

 

WHAT ACTION CAN YOU TAKE *RIGHT NOW*?

If you support our rights as sex workers then JOIN US in doing the following to make sure these laws are not passed:

  1. Share information on this issue online – on social media like Twitter and Facebook

‘Victorian Liberal Party backs anti-sex work laws at state conference’, Star Observer
www.starobserver.com.au/news/national-news/victoria-news/liberal-party-anti-sex-work-laws/168399

Media Release: ‘Sex workers slam Victorian Liberal Party support of harmful laws against sex workers’
www.scarletalliance.org.au/media/News_Item.2018-04-30.2858

In order to boost our signal on Twitter:

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

2.  Call and/or email your local Liberal Party MP or contact the Liberal Party candidate for your Electorate to tell them you DO NOT support the ‘Nordic Model’

Key points to raise:

    • 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]

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

You can find the Liberal Party candidate for your Electorate here:
vic.liberal.org.au/OurTeam/Candidates

  1. For more information on the harms of the ‘Nordic Model’ look here:‘What do sex workers think about the French Prostitution Act?’
    www.nswp.org/sites/nswp.org/files/en_synthesis_sw_final_2.pdf
  2. 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

The Victorian Greens are also running a candidate that has a history of supporting ‘Nordic Model’ laws – Kathleen Maltzahn, in the seat of Richmond. If Maltzahn is elected this increases the chances that ‘Nordic Model’ laws could be passed 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.

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:
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

 

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

 

Even though Maltzahn has recently said in the media that she would not vote with the Liberal Party to introduce ‘Nordic Model’ laws 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

WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING AND HOW DO I GET INVOLVED?
Sex Workers:

Vixen Collective is right now speaking to politicians, to media, coordinating with allies, continuing to advance sex worker rights in Victoria and working with you to make sure that ‘Nordic Model’ laws DO NOT HAPPEN.  This is in addition to the peer support, education and advocacy services we already provide within Victorian sex worker community.

If you’d like to work with us directly on this then follow us on Twitter at @VixenCollective to see what we’re doing next and/or drop us a line via email at vixencollectivemelbourne@gmail.com

* Please bear in mind that this is a busy time for us and that we are an unfunded volunteer service as Victoria does not have a funded peer service for sex workers *

Allies and Supporters:

BE INFORMED, GET INVOLVED.  Follow and share the information above, as well as following @VixenCollective and @ScarletAlliance on Twitter.

Think there is something tangible you can offer in terms of support? Are you:

  • A CEO or leader in your organisation?
    Set an example as a leader by showing you support of human rights for ALL people, including sex workers.
  • Involved in a political party or in government?
    Do you want to be more informed about this issue? Sex workers are the experts in our lives and work, we must be consulted through our representative organisations so that law and policy make our lives better, not worse.
  • In the media and want to report on this issue?
    Get in touch, because sex workers MUST be included in any discussion of our lives or work.
  • Involved in a trade union or labour rights organisation?
    Sex work is work – union and labour organisations should support the rights of ALL WORKERS.
  • Working in the field of health or medicine?
    The ‘Nordic Model’ undermines access to health services, outreach, ability to negotiate condom use and increases risk of being subject to violence, stand with sex workers in opposing this.
  • Are you part of a peer organisation for other marginalised community/ies?
    We need to combat discrimination and stigma together.

 

Do you or does your organisation support what sex worker, health and human rights organisations worldwide recognise as the best practice model for sex work regulation – the full decriminalisation of sex work? If not why not? Contact us to find out more and to indicate your support.

Get in touch via vixencollectivemelbourne@gmail.com and talk to us.

 

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.

 

If you would like to get in touch with the peer sex worker organisation in your own state or territory visit our links page here to find their contact details:
vixencollective.net/links/

 

*NOTE – although the term ‘Nordic Model’ is being used by the Liberal Party 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

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/.