Victoria and Queensland have legalised sex work within brothels and implemented a licensing system to regulate the brothel industry. New South Wales has decriminalised all forms of sex work, with the regulations for brothels placed with the local planning and development authorities; however, living off the earnings of the prostitution of another person with the exemption of brothel employers and employees is illegal Summary Offences Act , s New South Wales is the only jurisdiction that has legalised the soliciting of sex services which affects the legality of street-based sex work ; however, it is required to operate away from dwellings, schools, churches and hospitals.
The Australian Capital Territory has legalised brothels but only in two prescribed industrial suburbs. Brothels, escorts agencies and sole operators and private workers must register their business.
Brothel workers are not required to register. The exchange of money for sexual services between adults on its own is not illegal in any jurisdiction with the exception of Western Australia, where it is an offence to act as a sex worker if convicted of a drug-trafficking or Schedule 1 offence Donovan et al.
However, some or almost all forms of sex work are criminalised in Tasmania, Western Australia and South Australia. The policy was officially abandoned in ; however, according to Donovan et al. Soliciting is illegal in certain areas near or within view of a dwelling, school, church or hospital Summary Offences Act , ss 19, 19A.
Legal to run a brothel with appropriate planning permission. Act does not state that it is a crime to work as a sex worker in a brothel without planning permissionb Restricted Premises Act , s 7 1. Brothels must be licensed and working within the licence conditions to operate legally Sex Work Act , s 22 1. It is a crime to live partially or wholly off the earnings of sex work unless working for legal premises ie licensed, or exempt from requiring a licence but registered Sex Work Act , s Brothels must be licensed and in accordance with planning laws Prostitution Act , s It is unlawful to work as a sex worker in premises other than a licensed brothel or contrary to brothel licence, unless exempt from needing a licence see private work below Criminal Code , s C.
Also illegal to live partially or wholly off the earnings that the person knows are the earnings of prostitution Criminal Code Act Compilation , s 3. It is a crime to manage or keep a brothel, or to receive payment in a brothel for sex work Summary Offences Act , s Illegal to live partially or wholly off the earnings of the prostitution of another person Summary Offences Act , s Illegal to run a brothel.
Act does not state that it is illegal to work as a sex worker in a brothel Sex Industry Offences Act , s 4. Legal to run a brothel, but must be registered and based in prescribed locations. Act does not state that it is a crime to work as a sex worker in a brothel that is not registered or outside the prescribed locations of Mitchell and Fyshwick Prostitution Act , s 18 1 ; Prostitution Act Regulation , s 1 4 ; see also Prostitution Act , s 12 1.
Act does not state that it is a crime to work as a sex worker in a brothel Prostitution Regulation Act , s 4. Clients of a social escort service must be informed that the service does not include prostitution Prostitution Act , s 96B. In addition, escort services cannot be advertised as including sexual services Prostitution Act , s 96A. Not illegal to conduct an escort service but illegal to live off the earnings. See Criminal Code Act Compilation , s 3 above. Act does not state that it is illegal to work as a sex worker in an escort agency Summary Offences Act , s Illegal to run an escort agency.
Act does not state that it is a crime to work as a sex worker in an escort agency Sex Industry Offences Act , s 4. Legal to run an escort agency, but must be registered.
Act does not state that it is a crime to work as a sex worker in an unregistered escort agency Prostitution Act , s 12 1. Act does not state that it is a crime to work as a sex worker in an unlicensed escort agency.
Small business operators two people working separately or jointly and solo workers are exempt from requiring a licence to operate legally but still need to register their service. Small business operators also need a planning permit for their premises if they are providing services there Sex Work Act , ss 23, Nothing in the Act specifically about private workers but see Criminal Code Act Compilation , s 3 above.
Up to two sex workers can work together but cannot manage or employ each other Sex Industry Offences Act , s 3 1. Local councils approve business applications see Restricted Premises Act , s 17 1 above. Business Licensing Authority grants licences for brothels and escort services and maintains the register of private workers. The Office of Regulatory Services is responsible for registering brothels, escort agencies and sole operators. Director-General of Licensing formerly the Northern Territory Licensing Commission grants licences to escort agencies.
All staff of escort agencies must be registered with NT Police and receive a certificate from the Police Commissioner. At the time of writing, the Prostitution Bill WA , which proposes major amendments to the Prostitution Act , including the legalisation of prostitution under a licensing system, was before the WA Legislative Assembly.
This table outlines the content of legislation in each state and territory regarding sex work but does not include sex work provisions within common law. Sex workers can also be encouraged to sign contract agreements verifying this relationship Murray However, it has been argued that the level of control managers have over when sex workers work and the services they provide more closely resembles the work arrangements held in common law to be those of employer and employee Murray This includes fines for being late to work, not being allowed to sell sex services independently outside the workplace and control over the nature of the services sex workers provide, the amount they can charge and how long they work Murray ; Northern Territory AIDS and Hepatitis Council This leaves sex workers without the freedoms associated with being an independent contractor, yet without the benefits of being an employee Drugs and Crime Prevention Committee This is a situation where an employment relationship is disguised as one of client and independent contractor with negative consequences for the employee ABCC Much of the existing knowledge of sex workers has relied on input from peer and outreach workers, sexual health workers and sex workers themselves.
Convenience or snowball sampling, where participants are recruited in a non-random manner using existing knowledge or social networks, is the main methodology used in the research and surveys referenced in this section. This dearth of population-based studies on sex workers internationally and within Australia is primarily a result of restricted access to sex workers for research and survey purposes due to:.
The majority of sex workers are female Donovan et al. Those who identify as transgender and male sex workers are difficult to access for research as they are more likely to initiate contact with clients electronically eg by phone and online and work as private escorts rather than in a brothel-based environment Donovan et al.
Research suggests that the majority of sex workers are aged between 20 and 39 years Donovan et al. This increase in age appeared to be driven by an increase in the age of migrant sex workers, who made up a sizeable proportion of the sex worker population in Sydney.
Age distribution has also been shown to vary by sector. Only seven percent of private workers were aged 18—24 years compared with more than one-quarter of street-based and brothel workers Woodward et al. Although the results may not be representative, these findings have been replicated in studies from other states and territories.
The total number of sex workers working in Australia has been estimated to be 20, in any one year Quadara ; however the proportion of workers born outside Australia remains largely unknown. Data from the SSHC suggested that the proportion of Asian migrant sex workers ie those born in Asian countries in Sydney accessing their Chinese and Thai-language clinics increased from 20 percent to more than half from to Donovan et al. This increase in sex workers accessing Sydney sexual health clinics was attributed to both an increase in migrant sex workers from Asia and a decrease in Australian-born sex workers Donovan et al.
It is possible that these data are biased towards Asian sex workers due to the Asian-language clinics the SSHC runs; however, the LASH research conducted in Sydney brothels in found a similar proportion of migrant sex workers from China and Thailand.
SSHC data from showed that the proportions of Thai and Chinese-born sex workers had nearly reached equivalence Data from the SSHC also showed a sharp increase in the representation of South Korean women from ; by they had increased their representation to close to that of Chinese and Thai women Donovan et al. The migrant status of sex workers in other parts of Australia varied from that found for Sydney-based sex workers.
These results were said to reflect those observed for licensed brothel workers in Melbourne Donovan et al. At first glance, it appears that migrant sex workers are more common in some states and territories than others, and that the cultural background of this population also varies by jurisdiction.
However, it is difficult to ascertain whether these proportions are representative of the true migrant population at the survey sites or the ease or lack thereof of access to this population for research. A questionnaire delivered to Asian female sex workers who attended the SSHC collected similar educational measures of sex workers born in China and Thailand Pell et al.
Brothel-based and private workers generally had low rates of drug use, high rates of condom use and very low rates of sexually transmitted infections or STIs Harcourt et al. Sydney brothel workers had levels of mental health that were comparable with the general population Donovan et al. Perth-based respondents to the LASH survey reported percent condom use and experienced STIs at a rate similar to that recorded for the general population Donovan et al.
Categorising sex workers by the sector in which they work for research purposes can be problematic due to the extent sex workers may work in a variety of sectors simultaneously. Although limited in number, the research surveys reviewed in this report examine the issue of violence perpetrated by clients in the workplace. Of more than private sex workers contacted this week, most said they were operating in the eastern suburbs.
While most offered their services from private apartments or houses, some were operating from motels. Young Asian women were an overwhelming majority of the sex workers with some "facilitators" offering a range of Asian women from a single address. At the top end, phone calls to women advertised on a premium escort service website revealed many were operating in East Perth, Northbridge and Burswood.
Beverly Clarke, owner of the Langtrees brothels in Perth and Kalgoorlie, said a former Langtrees employee was running the website, using apartments she owned across Perth as makeshift brothels. Ms Clarke said so-called "Asian houses" were opening at an alarming rate. In some cases, girls were living in the ceilings of houses and were crammed together.
Some were carrying out unsafe practices and offering unsafe sex. Scarlet Alliance chief executive Janelle Fawkes, who worked in the sex industry in WA for 13 years, said she did not believe illegal brothels were on the rise but people were becoming more aware of their existence, particularly in the eastern suburbs.
The West Australian Friday, 29 June News Chevron Right Icon Australia. Unlawful brothels flourish in suburbs.... She backpage esscort service herself in a Perth park. Illegal to run an escort agency. The Balls Deep podcast is turning that trend on its head. On this evening one has to leave early to bathe in Epsom salts; too much sex has left her smarting. One of the few studies that looked at the number of sex industry clients in Australia, the Australian Study of Health and Relationships Rissel et al. Small business operators two people working separately or jointly and solo workers are exempt from requiring a licence to operate legally but still need to register their service.