Sex workers in Victoria will be able to advertise with full body pictures and spruik their ethnicity under changes to the state’s sex-work regulations.
But the sex workers’ industry body has slammed the draft regulatory changes proposed by the Andrews government as a “missed opportunity”.
Sex-worker organization Vixen Collective says the government should tackle the real issues facing the industry, including full decriminalization and an end to mandatory health testing. The changes to the sex-work regulations have been posted by the government and will allow sex workers to advertise with a picture of their full body.
Advertisements are currently limited to head-and-shoulder shots.
Ads for sex workers will remain banned from radio, TV, film and video recordings but ads on the internet and in print may contain a photograph of the whole person, as long as the picture does not show naked genitals or breasts, a sex act or a person under the age of 18 years.
Sex workers will now be able to advertise with references to race, colour or ethnic origin, in addition to sexual orientation, of the person offering sexual services.
This reflects the changing face of sex work in Victoria, with half of the state’s sex workers coming from an Asian background, according to specialist health service RhED Program.
Sue White, general manager of RhED, which is run by Inner South Community Health, said the regulations reflected changes in the industry.
Ms White said sex workers, brothel owners and managers had been banned from advertising sex workers’ ethnicity, despite an appetite from the market for sex workers from specific backgrounds.
Ms White also welcomed other changes to advertising laws, saying it was a legal job and sex workers should be able to advertise more freely.
But not all in the industry have welcomed the changed regulations, rejecting them as minimal.