For sex workers around the world, the legality of their profession remains a life or death issue. Here in Australia there is a complex web of state legislation and regulations that means the lawfulness of sex work varies significantly. In Victoria specifically, there is an election on the very near horizon – and the issue is being contested yet again. The somewhat murky positions of the various parties present a challenge for voters who are interested in women’s rights at work.
Historically sex work has taken place in the shadows. These are transactions which are regularly forced underground because they’re considered seedy at best and criminal at worst. A failure by governments and the community to view sex work simply for what it is – work – has restricted the rights of women and put their safety at risk. A mixture of prejudice, stereotyping, moralising and sexism render the issue a politically charged powder keg that our elected representatives are justifiably wary of touching.
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