Reaching out to sex workers

ABC News 14 March 2015
Kate Connett is an outreach worker with Project Respect, but was formerly a sex worker herself. Lisa (not her real name) has been working in legal brothels in Victoria since she was 16.

NORDIC MODEL AUSTRALIA COALITION (NORMAC)
MEDIA RELEASE
NorMAC Welcomes Media Attention on Nordic Model

The Nordic Model Australia Coalition (NorMAC) welcomes the recent ABC Lateline report on prostitution that highlighted the growing international shift to a Nordic Model of prostitution legislation.  The Nordic Model criminalises buyers of sex, not prostitutes, and prostitutes are assisted to exit the industry.

Since forming in 2012, NorMAC has consistently lobbied Australia’s governments – both federal and state – the media and other institutions to engage with and listen to survivors of the sex industry.

It was inspiring to hear the voice of prostitution survivor and Project Respect brothel outreach worker, Kate Connett, calling for a rethink of the legalisation and decriminalisation approaches to prostitution.  Kate spoke courageously of the exploitation she suffered as a prostitute, and how it now motivates her work with women still in prostitution.

NorMAC was disappointed that the Scarlet Alliance ‘sex worker’ group representative, Jules Kim, refused to acknowledge the negative experiences of people in the sex industry. Ms Kim further denied that migrant women were disadvantaged in their ability to negotiate the transaction of sex, despite the Kirby Institute report from NSW noting that 46% of migrant women working in the sex industry rated their English language skills as fair or poor.

NorMAC also strongly rejects Ms Kim’s claim that there is no link between prostitution and trafficking, and considers it part of an on-going campaign by the sex industry to ensure the voices of survivors of prostitution are silenced in the public.

The Lateline program and the ensuing media discussion come at a crucial time for NorMAC, which is currently stepping up its campaign to introduce Nordic Model legislation on prostitution in Australia.

NorMAC hosted its AGM for 2015 on 7th of March, and affirmed its position as the peak body advocating the introduction of Nordic model legislation. NorMAC is a secular group, with a focus on survivors of prostitution.

The AGM appointed representatives for each Australian state.  Prostitution survivor Simone Watson is now the organisation’s director.

For media comment, the director of NorMAC is available for contact.

Simone Watson –
Phone: 0477 448 164
Email: [email protected]