This week the lower house of the French parliament under François Hollande’s Socialist government, passed a package of legislation based on Nordic model laws on prostitution and focused on moving the nation towards the abolition of prostitution.

In wake of the passage of legislation in France, NORMAC is sending out a wake up call to all Australian states and the Federal Government that they must act to support a human rights based approach to the sex industry, an approach that is now sweeping through many jurisdictions in Europe.

NORMAC is Australia’s only secular, inclusive network which spans social and political divides in support of action against the now internationally recognised human rights breaches inherent in the legalised sex industry.

The legislation was passed by a vote of 268 in favour to 138 opposed. The legislation will see heavy fines imposed on those who seek to obtain sexual services in exchange for money. First time offenders would face a charge of €1,500 (approximately $2,250 Australian Dollars) while repeat offenders would be fined €3,750 (approximately $5,600 Australian Dollars).
All offenders would be required to undergo awareness classes on the abuses that prostitutes suffer and the dangers of sex work and other repeat offenders may face gaol sentences.

The move by Legislators in France to follow the Nordic model shows the ever growing International evidence that the criminalisation of those who benefit from the purchase of sex – the pimps and the johns – and the decriminalisation of prostituted persons, is the only effective way to counter gender inequality and exploitation in the sex industry.

It should also be noted that France’s major legislative changes designed to tackle gender inequality and exploitation have been passed to coincide with international human rights week.

Legalisation of the sex industry in all jurisdictions in Australia has been a dismal failure in its intended purpose to improve the health and conditions of people working in the sex industry and protect them from violence.

“In the wake of the French decision, NORMAC renews its call to all Australian jurisdictions, to investigate and implement the Nordic model as an effective measure to combat discrimination and exploitation in the sex industry, and the ever-increasing crime of sex trafficking.” said Matthew Holloway.

On International Human Rights day of December 2012, NORMAC launched ‘The Red Light Report’ at parliament house in Hobart, Tasmania. The report shed light on coercion and the mental, emotional and physical abuse suffered by those within the sex industry in Australia. This report was a clear challenge to the rhetoric of sex industry lobby groups which promote open slather sex trade as the only way to create a safe environment for those involved in the industry. The report can be found using the following link, http://tasmaniantimes.com/images/uploads/The_Red_Light_Report_-_NORMAC.pdf