Advocating for Full Decriminalisation of Sex Work in Victoria

The Sex Work Decriminalisation Bill 2021 contains many of the demands sex workers have been making for decades, but falls short of full decriminalisation and misses the mark on some of its stated intentions.


Amendment to the bill is necessary to ensure sex worker safety and human rights. Sex workers and allies, it’s time to put pressure on MPs to take a stand and support amendment to the bill.


The best way to do this is to call your local Labor and crossbench MPs and ask them to support the bill with the amendments that sex workers need.

1. Search 

Head to the VIC Parliament website and search for your local Labor and crossbench MPs. Write down their details: phone, Twitter handle, email. If your local MP is a member of the Liberal Party or the Nationals Party, you don’t need to contact them.

2. Call!

If you don’t speak to a person, call again. If you need to, leave a voicemail.

3. Tweet

@[yourlocalMP] using the hashtag #nosexworkerleftbehind. Let them know that you’re a member of their electorate and tell them your concerns about the Sex Work Decriminalisation Bill 2021.

4. Email

If you’ve still got energy, email.

5. Share

Share the details of your MP with your local network of sex worker allies and refer them to this document, asking them to do the same.



We support the Bill with the following amendments:


1. Street-based sex workers are still criminalised and unnecessarily scrutinised under this bill, with absurdly complicated restrictions on the hours we can be near certain places. Retaining the criminalisation of any part of the sex worker community is NOT decriminalisation, and contradicts the government’s stated intention to make street-based sex work safer.

2. The bill maintains discriminatory sex industry-specific advertising regulations that have long been a barrier to sex worker safety. Australia already has a national standard for advertising and maintaining complex sex industry-specific regulations will continue to make it difficult for sex workers to negotiate services, establish consent and conduct business like any other Victorian worker.

3. The sex worker register will be maintained and kept by the government as a ‘historical register’. This allows sensitive personal information of Victorian sex workers to remain intact. There is no justification for the government to keep this register, and it must be destroyed to protect sex worker privacy.

4. The Bill duplicates some offences in relation to forced labour that already exist in the Commonwealth Criminal Codes Act 1995. The intent of decriminalisation is to remove sex industry-specific criminal and licensing legislation so that the industry can access existing regulations. Duplicating offences to apply specifically to sex work in the VIC Crimes Act 1958 undermines decriminalisation.

5. ‘Sex Work’ and ‘Sex Worker’ must be added as main attributes alongside ‘profession, trade, or occupation’. Sex workers' experience high levels of discrimination in every facet of our lives and must have access to robust anti-discrimination protections.

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