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Prostitution was encouraged by conditions in colonial Tasmania. From the s, the arrival of large s of female convictsa gender ratio of seven adult men to every woman and hence a ready market of single men, and the asment system, which meant women convicts lived reasonably openly in the community but were unpaid, led many women to turn to prostitution as one of the few ways they could earn money.

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Buy & sell

The Tasmanian Government has moved to legalise prostitution in the apple isle. Legalisation is a way to ignore and exacerbate the exploitation, violence and abuse suffered by sex workers.

First, high on the agenda for discussion should be whether legalising prostitution increases tolerance and aceptance of prostitution in society. Does the legalisation of prostitution endorse it as a valid, acceptable practice? If the Government legalises prostitution, it should also at least fund campaigns and implement policies to improve the status of women. Second, prostitution represents an income opportunity of last resort in a society where a lack of alternative opportunities outside the sex industries, should be addressed as a root cause.

At the very least, law reform that will allow prostitution to flourish should be accompanied by comprehensive exit programs for people in the sex industry. Such programs should include education, training, employment, housing and counselling services to enable people in the sex industry to access choices outside the industry. Third, legalisation may increase crime. To date unlike VictoriaTasmania has had few, if any, cases of sexual slavery.

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Legalisation of prostitution may make Tasmania another magnet for people traffickers who exploit enslaved prostitutes behind the veneer of legally d brothels. The global trafficking of women and children for prostitution nets billions of dollars annually for organised crime networks. Finally, if the Government does legalise prostitution, it should do so in a way that increases the safety and rights of prostitutes, rather than merely improving the convenience of brothel operators, pimps and customers.

In Victoria, regulations require sex workers to have regular checks for sexually transmitted diseases STDsbut there is no such obligation on brothel customers. This is unfair when you consider that most brothel customers are men, most brothel workers are women and STDs are more easily passed from men to women.

The proposed legislation does include an offence for brothel customers to have sex without a condom. This is a step in the right direction.

The wapping that was

However, the legislation also requires brothels to keep a register of the names and addresses of prostitutes. There is no justification for such a register as long as customers are allowed to remain anonymous.

Criminalising the purchase of sex but decriminalising the selling of sex is one approach that has been taken to prostitution in Sweden. While unlikely to be followed in Australia, the Swedish model illustrates that we can think about old problems in new ways. Even if prostitution has been around for a while, so has smoking and infanticide, and as a society, we do not encourage either of those.

If there's one thing that the recent election campaign and its outcome demonstrated, it's the depth of the divisions that exist in our Australian community.

Our politics is focused on point-scoring, personalities, and name-calling across party lines. The media, for the most part, don't help, driven by the hour news cycle and the pursuit of advertising dollars into a frenzy of click-bait and shallow sensationalism.

Eureka Street offers an alternative. It's less a magazine than a wide ranging conversation about the issues that matter in our country and our world; a conversation marked by respect for the dignity of ALL human beings.

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Importantly, it's a conversation that takes place in the open, unhindered by paywalls or excessive advertising. And it's through the support of people like you that it is able to do so.

Sex should be Voluntary, nobody should be forced into it against their will. T stephen 14 November Recent articles by Georgina Costello. What does it mean to be an Australian in times like these?

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