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International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers!

December 17th 2019, Statement from SWOP NT and SWRG
International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers!
Northern Territory sex workers and our organisations, the Sex Worker Outreach Program (SWOP NT ) and the Sex Worker Reference Group (SWRG) stand united with sex workers across the globe to advocate for a world that does not involve violence against us, purely because we are sex workers.
Today we remember, we honour and memorialise our peers who have been murdered.

D17 is the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. This event began on 17th December 2003, as a memorial to those sex workers who were murdered by Seattle’s’ Green River Killer, in the USA.

Violence against us is often targeted, it is also verbal, it is physical, it is hidden and written in laws that may criminalise us and discriminate against us.
Today we pledged to work towards respect and reforms that will eradicate discrimination and hate crimes against us.
November 26th saw the Northern Territory Government pass the Sex Industry Bill 2019. The new legislation will support the full decriminalisation of sex work, with aim and purpose to address safety and rights for us as sex workers.

The decriminalisation of sex work is a significant step in preventing violence against us as the Bill removes dangerous laws by repealing the NT Prostitution Regulation Act of 1992.

The abolishment of the archaic Prostitution Regulation Act, that has criminalised so many NT sex workers, will ensure that NT Sex workers in 2020 will be now be also afforded Industrial rights and protections.

The removal of criminalising laws against us as sex workers in the NT will lift barriers and facilitate pathways for us to acess support and seek justice when we experience violence. Reporting violence sends a message to perpetrators that sex workers can no longer be targeted without legal consequences.

On December 17th, we recognise and wish to state we cannot end the marginalisation and victimisation of all sex workers without also fighting against racism, stigma, transphobia, criminalisation and discrimination of people who use drugs and prejudicial intolerance”.

Sex Workers still need laws in the NT to protect us against discrimination and vilification. The Modernisation of the NT Anti-Discrimination Act needs to be ratified in 2020 and it needs to ensure that sex workers are fully protected and our work as attributes under the Act and from targeted violence due to social stigma and discrimination.


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