Ahead of the Curve: Sex Work & Covid 19
On Thursday December 10th, Scarlet Alliance and our state and territory member organisations will host 'Ahead of the Curve: Sex Work and COVID-19 in Australia'. This event will launch our report 'COVID-19 and Sex Work in Australia' and provide us with an opportunity to speak to the urgent law and regulatory reforms needed to prevent further damage to the sex worker community in this and future public health emergencies.
To join us, register at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_FdluYTbnRUOq-0n3CI3D0A
This event is for policymakers at the state, territory and federal levels, health practitioners, community legal and justice centres, unionists, people with an interest in welfare and human rights, sexual health academics, and everyone with an interest in the lessons of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The impact of poor policymaking is always felt by sex workers. During COVID-19, discrimination, criminalisation, misuse of police powers, lack of access to welfare and crisis financial support, barriers to justice and online marginalisation is acute and unrelenting. Though borders are re-opening, and the spread of COVID-19 is easing in Australia, social and economic disparities will continue to intensify. Sex workers are facing housing insecurity, lack of money for the basics, advertising bans, and clients having less money to spend in the face of a recession. These impacts, set against the backdrop of ongoing criminalisation of our work and workplaces and discrimination and exclusion from a number of welfare programs, leaves sex workers in an increasingly precarious position, and, the bills keep coming in. Sex worker organisations are working with this landscape daily and have been working tirelessly to support sex workers though a time of systemic neglect from governments.
How do we learn from the fallout at the intersection of a pandemic and ongoing bad policy and make vital legislative changes to prevent it from happening again? How can sex workers, now and in the future, be more assured of inclusion in government policy responses to health? What conclusions are sex worker organisations drawing from the pandemic, and what support and collaboration do we need from governments, policymakers, and the health and justice sectors to turn these lessons into meaningful change for sex workers?
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