The Government of Victoria (Australia) is proposing a bill to decriminalize the sex trade as a solution to the recognized failure of its law that legalized prostitution.  Victoria’s Prostitution Act of 1994 was meant to regulate brothels, control prostitution, bring it “above ground,” remove stigma, implement workplace rights and protections, and improve the lives of women bought and sold in the sex trade. Daniel Andrews MP, the Premier of Victoria, publicly acknowledged that the law miserably failed at every level.

In the last three decades, legalization of prostitution has expanded the sex trade in Victoria: for every registered brothel there are over five unlicensed “massage parlors,” at 90 legal versus 500 illegal brothels in Melbourne alone. Sex trafficking is presumed with the overwhelming presence of foreign women, mostly from Asia and the Pacific Islands, sold in brothels, especially unlicensed “massage parlours,” with impunity.

Victoria may be the first jurisdiction in the world that wants to decriminalize the sex trade (a worse form of legalization) after acknowledging that legalization doesn't work. Reports indicate that the current legislative deliberations related to the total deregulation of the sex trade are occurring within a web of public disinformation and misinformation, lack of transparency, and with indifference to human rights, women’s equality, public health, and the rule of law.

CATW’s next virtual roundtable of its At the Edge of the Margins series will convene advocates from Australia, including a prostitution survivor, to discuss why, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, Victoria is proposing a catastrophic expansion of the sex trade that will further destroy the lives of the most vulnerable women and girls for the untold profits of the global multi-billion-dollar sex trade.

Join us on December 2, 2021, at 6 p.m. EST (In Australia: December 3 at 6 a.m. (Western Australia) and 9 a.m. (Melbourne)) for At the Edge of the Margins: Victoria (Australia) is planning to decriminalize the sex trade as a solution to its failed 1994 law legalizing prostitution—Now what?

This virtual event is free and open to the public. Registration is required.







Dr. Meagan Tyler (Melbourne, Australia) is a Senior Lecturer, based in the Centre for People, Organization, and Work at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. Her research focuses on women's inequality and men's violence against women in a variety of contexts, from the sex trade to emergency management and disaster recovery. She has written extensively on the relationships between pornography, prostitution, and sexual violence and is the former public officer of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women Australia (CATWA).


Dr. Kaye Quek (Melbourne, Australia) is a Lecturer in Global Studies, in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. She is the author of Marriage Trafficking: Women in Forced Wedlock (Routledge, 2018), and has been involved in the work of CATWA since 2007.


Tegan Larin (Melbourne, Australia) is the public officer of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women Australia (CATWA). Tegan is currently completing a PhD at Monash University. Her research focuses on the sex industry in Victoria, Australia, in particular her research examines illicit massage businesses and prostitution policy. 

Simone Watson (Western Australia) is a sex trade survivor activist, director of Nordic Model Australia Coalition (NorMAC), and a former human rights delegate for Amnesty International.



Taina Bien-Aimé is the executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW).


At the Edge of the Margins

Victoria (Australia) is going to decriminalize the sex trade – Now what?

 Dec 2, 2021 @ 6 p.m. EST

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