Sex work

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Masked sex workers lead a march to mark International Sex Workers’ Rights Day. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Debate around sex work in South Africa tilts towards decriminalisation

Sex workers in South Africa are all potential criminals due to the country's regressive laws. But their status may change soon, making South Africa the first African country to decriminalise sex work.
Former French sex worker Rosen Hicher, centre, who marched 800km to raise awareness of the Nordic Model. Patrice Pierrot/AAP

Sex trade survivors deserve the chance to speak

A conference highlighting the oppression of sex work was held in Melbourne over the weekend. But online protesters campaigned against the event, targeting the university hosting it.
History shows us sex work is an enduring social expression of sexuality. Horia Varlan

The rise and fall of Rentboy.com

Rentboy.com is the oldest and most popular website for male sex workers, who pay a monthly fee to advertise to and connect with potential clients. Its fall this week will leave a void in the market.
Research has shown that when sex work is illegal, street sex workers who are victims of sexual assault are reluctant to report it to police. shutterstock

Victorian rape law needs reform to protect sex workers

There is a non-binding precedent in Victoria that allows judges to consider the victim's sexual experience when passing sentence on a sex offender – but only when the "victim is a prostitute".
The use of sex worker testimony by playwright Peta Brady has outraged interviewee Jane Green. Vixen Collective Archives

Ugly Mugs: ‘an unacceptable breach of sex workers’ privacy’

Peta Brady’s Ugly Mugs, which I saw in Sydney last week, opens with a gurney being wheeled onto the stage – on it, a sex worker who has died at the hands of a client and who, like the phoenix tattooed…
The Hon. Michael Kirby presenting a report on human rights violations in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea at the UN earlier this year. EPA/Salvatore Di Nolfi

‘The law can be an awful nuisance in the area of HIV/AIDS’: Michael Kirby

Watch the Honourable Michael Kirby, visiting professorial fellow at UNSW Australia, talk about how the law impacts HIV below. Michael Kirby is a former justice of the High Court of Australia, serving from…
In most developed countries, including Australia, gay and bisexual men dominate numbers of new HIV infections. Aleksandar Stojkovic/Flickr

Know the epidemic: responding to HIV in three key communities

The number of new HIV diagnoses in Australia remains the highest in 20 years, according to data released today by UNSW’s Kirby Institute. While rates have remained stable over the past two years, the number…
Despite evidence to the contrary of crime and community debasement in areas where there are brothels, there remains a strong overall sense of “NIMBYism”. AAP/David Crosling

Not in my backyard: who wants a brothel as a neighbour?

Nationally and internationally, states adopt many different approaches to regulate brothels, ranging from legalisation to prohibition. But underlying all of these approaches is an ongoing assumption that…

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