Australia Sex Workers Submit Back-to-Work Proposal to Government

In early May, Australia began a three-phase program to reopen the country’s economy, but as appears to be happening in numerous countries around the world, sex workers remain at the back of the line. To date, only Sweden has announced a specific plan for allowing sex workers to begin earning income again. In Australia, however, the Eros Association—the country’s trade group for the adult industry—has submitted its own plan to Health Minister Greg Hunt. The plan outlines specific measures that, Eros says, would allow strip clubs, escort services and brothels to safely reopen, according to a report by the Australian news site News.com.au.  In the letter, Eros says that the government’s reopening plan “has not provided any certainty to adult entertainment and sex work service providers,” and that shutting down the sex industry may be “motivated by moral judgments … rather than any justified concerns regarding public health.” Sex workers remain out of work in the third phase of Australia’s reopening, which Jules Kim of the advocacy group Scarlet Alliance called “incredibly disappointing.” “Sex workers have a great track record in relation to public health in Australia,” Kim told News.com.au, saying that sex workers have proven their commitment to health safety “through many years of low rates of blood borne viruses and sexually transmitted infections and high rates of testing.” The Eros letter asks that sex workers be placed on the same reopening schedule as other “body work practitioners such as massage therapists.” The Eros Association also suggested health guidelines that would include a ban on group sex activities, screening clients for risk factors including use of temperature checks with non-contact thermometers, and providing masks, gloves and “booties, if requested,” to both workers and clients. Seating in brothel waiting rooms would be removed, and warnings would be prominently displayed outlining coronavirus risks, and making clear that sex workers may refuse service to any potential client, according to the News.com.au report. Australia has received praise from health experts for its aggressive approach to the coronavirus pandemic that has allowed the country to bring the risks of the virus largely under control. With a population of about 25 million, Australia has seen just 7,267 cases and 102 deaths as of Tuesday. By contrast, New York State with a population of about 20 million has suffered 30,579 deaths out of 400,499 cases of coronavirus infection. Photo By Valeria Boltneva / Pexels 

written by: Lawrence Avery

source: Australia Sex Workers Submit Back-to-Work Proposal to Government | AVN