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Statement on the Sex Work Decriminalisation Bill

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Victims of Crime Commissioner Fiona McCormack said:

"As Commissioner I support the decriminalisation of sex work and the opportunities it presents for increased safety for sex workers in the industry.

"No one should be a victim of a crime at work. Workplaces should be free from violence, coercion, exploitation, debt bondage or slavery. These are some of the risks that people face in the sex industry.

"I support a comprehensive package of reforms that don’t just decriminalise sex work but deliver a safe workplace and reduce the risks of violence and exploitation of sex workers.

"The new laws to decriminalise sex work should ensure that there is adequate oversight of the sex work industry to maximise health and safety. For example, brothels owners should satisfy a “fit and proper person” standard as is required in other industries.

"The new laws should be clear about how the health, safety and protection of sex workers will be protected under existing regulatory systems, including addressing issues of organised crime, human trafficking and sexual slavery. 

"The Victorian Government must ensure that sex workers have safe avenues where they can report crime and unsafe or illegal work practices.

"I support the proposed review in the proposed new legislation and believe that the review should be independent and transparent and conducted by a body such as the Victorian Law Reform Commission with a specific focus on the safety of sex workers."

Read the Commissioner's submission to the Review


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