Most Queenslanders assume sex work has already been decriminalised, however the reality is very different. The majority of sex work workplaces are illegal under the Prostitution Act 1999 (Qld) and sex workers’ safety strategies are criminalised under the Criminal Code (Qld).
Section 229H of the Code: ‘knowingly participating in the provision of prostitution’ is the most common charge, and is often the outcome of police entrapment, where police pose as the client of a sex worker. A review in 2021 suggests the laws are not compatible with the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) and create barriers to accessing justice and reporting discrimination offences.
The Queensland Law Reform Commission is currently considering how decriminalisation will work in practice. Sex workers and more than 30 organisations have joined the #DecrimQLD campaign to achieve decriminalisation to deliver improved workplace health, safety and rights for sex workers in Queensland.
This webinar, presented by DecrimQLD and Respect Inc, will provide an overview of key legal issues for the review, an insight into the real world impacts of the current laws, data from a recent survey of sex workers experiences of the law and policing, and a comparison with other jurisdictions to demonstrate potential options for the review. Visit Respect Inc’s review page here.
The Queensland Government has now released its Consultation Paper: A framework for a decriminalised sex work industry in Queensland (WP 80), and opened a public call for submissions on decriminalising the sex work industry in Queensland. Submissions close on 3 June 2022.