Every day that government delays, sex workers risk our safety & arrest | Respect QLD
Media release 4 March 2019

Sex workers are taking to the street to demand government action

Attorney General Yvette D’Ath is being called on to refer the antiquated sex work laws to the Queensland Law Reform Commission for the purpose of sex work decriminalisation. Sex workers and supporters will observe International Day for Sex Worker Rights by taking a stand in King George Square and calling on the government to end the delay. 30 years since the Fitzgerald Inquiry is 30 years too long.

When: Monday, 1pm, 4th March, 2019

Where: King George Square, (Adelaide Street entrance)

What: Decriminalisation Action

It is current government policy to repeal Chapter 22A of the Criminal Code Act 1899 (Qld), the Prostitution Act 1999 (Qld) and sections of the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 (Qld) to decriminalise the sex industry in Queensland.

“Every day of delay is another day sex workers are unable to implement basic safe working strategies that would be considered the norm in any workplace in Queensland,” Dr Elena Jeffreys, State Co-ordinator of Respect Inc, the state-wide sex worker organisation said today. “We all know these laws are wrong. Health, legal, unions and community experts agree we must decriminalise sex work.”

“Sex workers are forced to choose every day between working safely OR legally. If we choose to work safely it could be the day we are targeted by police and charged for putting in place common workplace safety practices,” said Elle, #DecrimQLD committee member. “Police are now regulating more than 80% of sex workers in Queensland and arrests have risen.”

“Decriminalisation is the model of sex industry regulation that has demonstrated positive outcomes for sex workers, the general community and governments. The recent sex worker health and workplace safety Symposium at Brisbane parliament house considered the outcomes of the model. The evidence is clear, now we need urgent action in Queensland,” said Candi Forrest #DecrimQLD committee member.

The Criminal Code 1899 (Qld) Chapter 22A currently makes it illegal for independent sex workers to:

  • do bookings together, share a workspace or work in the same building
  • check-in and check-out with another sex worker when a client arrives and leaves
  • message another sex worker about their current location
  • employ a receptionist or someone to answer our phones
  • use a driver another sex worker uses and recommends.


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