WALTA Special Meeting 27 June 2017

We are delighted to announce that PhD student and human rights advocate, Andrea Tokaji, will be visiting us from the east coast next week to discuss how “the legalisation and decriminalisation of prostitution laws are incompatible with international human rights law”.


Ms Tokaji speaks regularly on the international crime of human trafficking and takes a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach to matters of justice and slavery.


The meeting will be held at the Herbert Smith Freehills Lecture Theatre onTuesday 27 June at 6:30pm. Please enter the front of the Murdoch University LawSchool Building. The theatre may be entered through the first set of doors on your right.


The following abstract is from Ms Tokaji’s presentation:


Australia’s due diligence obligation to prevent the existence of gender-based violence within the context of exploitation in the sex trade and the crime of human trafficking under international law is well recognised through case law by the European Court of Human Rights.

In the same way, gender-based violence experienced by women in the sex trade, through human trafficking and in legalised and decriminalised prostitution gives rise to Australia’s due diligence obligation to preventing these crimes, and a responsibility within a human right framework to protect these victims of crime – to the full extent of their rights under the law.


Australia’s current prostitution laws are out of step with international best practices, they are not compliant with international human rights standards and in fact – in direct violation of the Declaration of the Elimination of Violence Against Women. 


Melissa Farley’s research tells us that over 80% of women in prostitution if asked, would do anything else. The majority of women working in prostitution want to get out.


So, why are we as a society not facilitating their exit from their circumstances of daily sexual and physical violence?


Australia has no other option but to implement the international best practice model which has seen a reduction of human trafficking by half, an abolition of involuntariness in prostitution and has turned criminal enterprise in the industry away.


As survivors have said: prostitution is paid rape. 


This meeting is open to all members and non-members. If you are interested in attending the event, please join our facebook event here.

If you are interested in joining the association, please email our president at a.zimmermann@murdoch.edu.au stating your interest in joining. Membership is free.


We look forward to seeing you all on the 27th.