Latest Legal Info

Access the latest updates on Victorian sex work legislation/regulations and other legal info for Victoria….

INACCURATE LEGAL INFORMATION IN VICTORIA RISKS SEX WORKERS’ SAFETY
September 2019

“Accurate legal information for sex workers is critical in Victoria given the complicated nature of Victorian sex work regulation, comprising more than 250 pages of laws and regulations.

Inaccurate, misleading or incomplete legal information can lead to sex workers acting in contravention of Victorian law, leading to potential police attention, arrest, charges, prosecution, jail, criminal records, and even deportation…

In the first week of July this year, a group called ‘Sex Work Law Reform Victoria’ (SWLRV) published a ‘law guide’ online that contained inaccurate information in relation to sex work laws in Victoria.

The local sex industry health service RhED provided translation services for this ‘law guide’ (for the ‘law guide’ to be translated into Chinese, Korean, Thai and Vietnamese), promoted the ‘law guide’ on social media and are directly distributing the ‘law guide’.

As indicated above, distributing and promoting inaccurate legal information places sex workers at risk and is not acceptable.

Who is SWLRV? – In mid-2018 Star Health (who are the organisation who manages RhED’s funding) was party to the decision to set up SWLRV, including the decision that SWLRV would be “supported by RhED” and that “there will be two agencies, RhED and Sex Work Law Reform Victoria, advocating with the same voice”.

Given Star Health’s role in the creation and ongoing running of SWLRV (through RhED), we call on them to take action remove the ‘law guide’ as a matter of urgency and to institute policy that prevents incidents that risk community safety in this way in future…”

See the joint statement by Vixen Collective and Scarlet Alliance
here:
Joint Vixen Collective and Scarlet Alliance Statement – Inaccurate Legal Information in Victoria

Read a plain English version of the joint statement here:
Joint Vixen Collective and Scarlet Alliance Statement – Inaccurate Legal Information in Victoria_Plain English

CLARIFYING “BODY SHOTS” IN ‘SEX WORK REGULATIONS 2016’
January 2017

*Please note this is general information only and does not constitute legal advice*

When the ‘Sex Work Regulations 2016’ came into force on the 1st of June 2016 there was confusion over the ‘Advertising Controls’ section, specifically part 5(a), 5(b) and 5(c) – this section is commonly referred to as “body shots” as it encompassed changes that allowed sex workers to use full body pictures in internet advertising (where they had previously been restricted to head and shoulders only):

“..(5) An advertisement for a business carried on by a sex work service provider that is published on the Internet may contain a photographic or other pictorial representation of a person which is not restricted to the head and shoulders, provided that the advertisement does not contain a photographic or other pictorial representation of—
(a) the bare sexual organs, buttocks or anus of a person, or frontal nudity of the genital region; or
(b) bare breasts; or
(c) a sexual act or simulated sexual act..”

Vixen Collective conducted a ‘snap consultation’ with Victorian sex workers in early June 2016 to understand the issues being experienced with the changes to ‘Advertising Controls’ and after discussions with Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) consulted St Kilda Legal Service on this issue.

In mid-December 2016 St Kilda Legal Service received feedback from the Deputy Secretary, Regulation & Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria, Mr Simon Cohen – indicating that CAV supported the following:

With regard to section 5(a):

  • Sheer underwear may be worn but it cannot be completely transparent
  • Very short shorts, hot pants, thong and G-string underwear can be worn but it must cover the genitalia and anus of a person
  • This includes – the use of head hair, shadows, censorship bars or blur/special effects, another body part or product to cover the area

With regard to section 5(b):

  • The nipple/areola of a female’s breasts must be covered in all advertisements
    Otherwise exposure of the rest of the breasts is appropriate
  • This includes – the use of head hair, shadows, censorship bars or blur/special effects, another body part or product to cover the area

With regard to section 5(c):

Access the ‘Advertising Controls’ section of the ‘Sex Work Regulations 2016’ here:
http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/vic/consol_reg/swr2016238/s11.html

Read more about these changes and see the feedback from the CAV at the St Kilda Legal Service website here:
http://www.skls.org.au/sex-work-advertising/

Vixen Collective thanks both Victorian sex workers – for contributing to the snap consultation – and St Kilda Legal Service – for contributing their time and energy without charge in assisting to achieve this important clarification of the regulations.

CONFUSION OVER ‘ADVERTISING CONTROLS’ IN NEW SEX WORK REGULATIONS
June 2016

As indicated in Vixen Collective’s submission to the February review of the draft ‘Sex Work Regulations 2016’ the changes to the ‘Advertising Controls’ section have proved to be too vague and difficult to interpret to be usable.

Vixen Collective has conducted a ‘snap consultation’ with Victorian sex workers to collect feedback on the issues with the changes with the ‘Advertising Controls’ section and is working to address this directly with Consumer Affairs Victoria.

‘SEX WORK REGULATIONS 2016’ FAIL VICTORIAN SEX WORKERS
June 2016

Despite substantial feedback on the draft ‘Sex Work Regulations 2016’ the newly released regulations have failed to take account of community feedback and contain only minimal changes to the ‘Advertising Controls’ section of the regulations.

See Vixen Collective’s Media Release here:
http://vixencollective.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Sex-Work-Regulations-Victoria_Media-Release_June-2016_Vixen-Collective.pdf

REVIEW OF ‘DRAFT SEX WORK REGULATIONS 2016’
February 2016

The Victorian Government has released a draft of the proposed ‘Sex Work Regulations 2016’ which is available for review on the Consumer Affairs website.

Vixen Collective’s submission to the draft regulations can be accessed here:
https://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/library/publications/resources-and-education/legislation/public-consultations-and-reviews/sex-work-regulations-2016-consultation-vixen-collective.pdf?la=en

Victorian Sex Workers Fighting for Respect