The Victorian Government’s Conflict of Interest in Reviewing its Prostitution Laws and the need to Implement Nordic-like Prostitution Laws

By Andrea Tokaji[1]

As a long-term abolitionist and lobbyist with a background in therapy, law and human rights, I celebrate the transparent, open and fair system of democracy, particularly our right to a political voice, not only when we vote, but also as contributors to legislative reform through parliamentary inquiries.

As a refugee child from a notorious Communist regime, I value my precious rights and liberties as a now citizen of Australia. These privileges should not be taken for granted, nor should they be compromised.

This is the reason I am concerned about the apparent conflict of interest that the Victoria Government has made in electing a former sex worker as the Chair of the review of prostitution[2] laws in its jurisdiction. A Financial Review article boasts her rise from parlour to parliament.[3]

Fiona Patten is the leader of the Reason Party, formerly known as the Australian Sex Party. She holds a seat in the Victorian Legislative Council, representing the Northern Metropolitan Region.  Fiona is currently leading the Victorian Government’s targeted review aimed at  considering whether the decriminalisation of sex work in Victoria may achieve better public health and human rights outcomes.

As a legal academic and human rights advocate, I have contributed to several inquiries through oral presentations in Parliament as well as written submissions, predominately around the rights of women, human trafficking, slavery or other forms of exploitation and human rights matters – in several jurisdictions. On Wednesday, the 15th of July, I provided an oral presentation of the health, human rights and legal issues pertaining to the Victorian Government’s consideration to further decriminalise prostitution laws in its jurisdiction.

The problem that I have encountered with this ongoing review is that when the legalisation of prostitution occurred in Victoria, there was a rise of as many as 400 illegal brothels being set up across the State[4]. The reason for this significant increase has come out in subsequent reports, which showed bikie gangs, money laundering and other criminal activities being affiliated to brothels in Victoria. And even though the industry had legalised, it is also patently clear that criminals preferred to operate illegally.

As a human rights advocate, my primary concern is that prostitution in essence perpetrates gender inequality.Women working in the industry are regularly violated with impunity – by virtue of the power imbalance that naturally exists between the often-paying male client and the female worker.

Men who frequent brothels are known to perpetrate violence (including sexual abuse, rape, verbal abuse, racial discrimination, etc. ), whereas brothel owners, mostly men, have been known to perpetrate crimes such as exploitation, human trafficking, slavery and even child trafficking.[5]

For example, the Australian Federal Police’ taskforce Operation Ghar was an ongoing targeted investigation into disrupting the supply and trafficking of illicit drugs in Canberra’s entertainment districts.[6] The entertainment industry, of course, includes brothels in the ACT.

As anadvocate for the rights of women, I take the position, along with several other academics and researchers, as well as law enforcement specialists, psychologists and other professionals, that women engaging in prostitution may be exposed to serious health risks. This would include sexually transmitted diseases and HIVwith studies on the subject also indicating that depressive symptoms, anxiety, PTSD, and psychological distress are considerably higher in women in prostitution[7].

The decriminalisation of sex work is typically understood to mean the removal of criminal laws relating to consensual adult sex work, and the regulation of sex work through standard business laws. Given the highly volatile nature of sex work, these measures do not go far enough to protect potentially vulnerable women. In fact, brothels cross Australia need to be even further regulated.

One of the problems that arises is that prostitution laws are a State matter. Since the current laws are inconsistent,  this results in national trafficking of prostitutes between State borders, as the nature of the industry demands ‘new girls’ and, in fact,  women will get more work if they are the ‘new girl’.

Let’s look at some facts:

1. Prostitution is trauma-based:

Regardless of a jurisdiction’s prostitution laws (legal, illegal or decriminalised), or its physical location (strip clubs, massage parlours, street work, escort agencies, home/hotel based prostitution) this work is extremely dangerous for women. Homicide is a frequent cause of death for women in the industry.[8]

Prolonged and repeated trauma precedes entry into prostitution, with most women beginning prostitution as sexually abused adolescents[9]. Homelessness is frequently a precipitating event to prostitution. Women in prostitution are often raped and physically assaulted[10].

Studies show that the mortality rate of women in prostitution is 200 times higher than the general population. Law enforcement, court reports, human rights advocates and medical reports have made it clear: the sex industry is full of violence against women, including rape, bashings, brutalisation and even murder[11].

A recent study of 854 women in prostitution in 9 countries reported that between 70 and 95% of the women in prostitution experience physical assault, among which between 60 and 75% had been raped. [12]Murder accounts for 50% of their deaths, and 89% of 854 of the prostituted women interviewed urgently wanted to escape prostitution.[13] Women often find exiting the industry difficult.

Research in 2003 looked at the prevalence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) amongst women in prostitution across nine countries. It was found that 68% of those in the sex trade experienced PTSD.  This rate is comparable to the trauma faced by rape survivors and survivors of state-sponsored torture.[14]

Previous studies on prostitution have shown that prostitutes have a high prevalence of PTSD, with sixty-eight percent of 827 prostitutes in 9 countries meeting the criteria for lifetime diagnosis of PTSD, with the severity of PTSD symptoms in the participants in the same range as treatment-seeking combat veterans, battered women in protective shelters, rape survivors, and refugees.[15]

Practices are becoming more dangerous with less protection for the women working in brothels.

The prostituted woman is treated as a product to be consumed, with her rights subject to a monetary transaction. An example of the degradation women face, is that there are service “menus” in brothels,where men can choose what service they want the woman to perform[16].  The woman who is being consumed as a commodity in the sex industry by men is at a high risk of experiencing sexual harassment, beatings, physical violence, rape, and rape without a condom, all documented violations.[17] Nordic Model Now, an advocacy lobby group has reported that there is now a demand for pregnant women in brothels, who may serve up to 40 men a day, right up until they give birth.

Psychologists are clear: direct or indirect exposure to traumatic events in the course of prostitution is associated with psychological problems, including PTSD. Most prostitution includes the traumatic stressors that are categorized as DSM-IV criterion A1 of the diagnosis of PTSD:

“Direct personal experience of an event that involves actual or threatened death or serious injury, or other threat to one’s personal integrity; or witnessing an event that involves death, injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of another person.”[18]

When taking a gender-equal human rights approach to prostitution laws and policies, the protection of women’s bodies, minds and emotions needs to be the highest priority.

2. Prostitution Harms Gender Equality:

A study published in 2015 in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence co-authored by UCLA Professor Neil Malamuth profiled men who buy sex, finding that men who buy sex are more likely to report having committed rape and other aggressive acts.

Professor Malamuth said:

“Our findings indicate that men who buy sex share certain key characteristics with men who are at risk for committing sexual aggression.  Both groups tend to have a preference for impersonal sex, a fear of rejection by women, a history of having committed sexually aggressive acts and a hostile masculine self-identification. Those who buy sex, on average, have less empathy for women in prostitution and view them as intrinsically different from other women.”[19]

The demand from men to commodify women and their bodies needs to be addressed as a fundamental driving force in our society, often leading to gender inequalities, violence against women and a rape culture.

This is evidenced by cases such as Peter Sculley, a 52-year-old Australian man, who faced the death penalty in the Philippines after he was arrested in February 2015. He was charged with multiple counts of child sex offences, including sexual abuse, cyber-sex, torture, rape, human trafficking and murder.[20]

Peter Scully allegedly directed a sickening video where an 18-month-old baby girl was bashed and sexually tortured. The court heard Scully allegedly directed the video titled “Daisy’s Destruction”, where the infant was masked by a naked woman before being tied upside down by her feet and sexually assaulted and bashed, with his female girlfriend for on-line distribution and sale.

These extreme videos containing child sex and torture were: “….  the most devastating thing I have ever seen,” prosecutor Ruby Malanog said. “I cried when I was watching them, in fact I feel like crying just now while talking about it. It was hard to believe what I was seeing, that somebody could do those things to children.” This is the nature of the extreme sex industry.[21]

Prosecutors alleged Scully sexually abused and strangled another nine female victims aged up to 13 were known to the authorities, including an 11-year-old girl, whose body was also found buried bellow a house rented by the accused.

“It is unacceptable that people – mostly women and children – are being purchased and exploited like merchandise. Victims of human trafficking and prostitution lose power over their lives and their bodies. They are robbed of the chance to enjoy their human rights.”

– Nyamko Sabuni: Swedish Minister for Integration and Gender Equality

As long as women are for sale, no woman will be viewed as equal in corporate boardrooms, in the halls of legislature, or in the home. Violence against women begins with disrespect.The demand by men to commodify women’s bodies leads to a rise in human trafficking and the enslavement of women into the brothel industries – across global and regional markets!

3. Prostitution has been linked to slavery and human trafficking:

A 2012 article in the journal World Development reported that “countries with legalised prostitution have a statistically significantly larger reported incidence of human trafficking inflows”.[22]

According to the United Nations, human trafficking affects every country of the world, as country of origin, transit or destination. Women and children make up the majority of these known slaves and are predominantly subject to sexual exploitation – even if originally trafficked or exploited for other purposes. Victims from at least 127 countries have been found by the United Nations to be exploited in 137 States.[23]

While the causes and impacts of human trafficking vary from country to country, generally the most vulnerable in society are targeted, which often include women and children. The International Labour Organisation estimates that 22 per cent of victims are sexually exploited. The ILO also reported that the Asia-Pacific region accounts for most people in forced labour with almost 12 million, or 56 per cent of the global total.[24] 

Prostitution and human trafficking for sexual purposes represent a serious obstacle to social, economic and gender equality.

Human trafficking functions on the supply and demand economic principle – and women’s bodies become its commodity. Prostitution laws need to have a preventative function in ensuring women and girls are not enslaved, forced into or abused and raped in the sex industry. 

There is overwhelming evidence that prostitution is inherently harmful and dehumanising, and that it fuels a demand for sex trafficking. This link needs to be recognised legislatively and socially. 

We need to move toward practical action to reduce the demand for prostituted women by men who perpetrate violence against them.

Both legalisation and decriminalisation of prostitution permit pimps and brothel owners to be viewed as legitimate business operators – with impunity of the human rights crimes perpetrated against the women making them their millions.

4. There are global campaigns for a more gender equal, human rights approach to prostitution:

Campaigns such as Ashton Kutcher’s Real Men Don’t Buy Girls in 2014 in America[25], and Tom Meaghear’s Prostitution, I  Don’t Buy It campaign[26] in Ireland has brought a more balanced human rights conversation about prostitution laws within gender equal considerations[27], where men are taking public responsibility for the safety of women in the industry, with a purpose to reduce demand.

Normalising prostitution makes the abuse, violence and exploitation in brothels against women invisible and turns pimps and punters into businessmen and legitimate consumers.

Recognising prostitution as ‘just a job’ ignores the violence, poverty and marginalisation which drives women into prostitution, and ends the great work of support services that assist women out of prostitution. Australia needs more rehabilitative exit programs for women wanting to exit the industry.

According to former prostitute survivors[28], women don’t want to be prostituted and the shame and stigma of prostitution persists despite legalisation. Regardless of its legal status of prostitution, the majority of the women working in the industry have expressed they would prefer to get out of it.

“We think that prostitution is one of the worst expressions of the unequal division of powers between men and women and this does not only bear on the prostitutes or those who buy the prostitutes’ services but the whole of society. This is why we are now suggesting a criminalisation of the sex buyers. We are convinced that it will change attitudes and decrease violence in society. We are convinced that it will also decrease prostitution.” 

– Anne Maria Holli 2004[29]

In 2016, under the Hilary Clinton Foundation for women leaders in human trafficking[30], I visited and spoke to several US Government officials, human rights organisations, international organisations, Charities, survivors, Judges and lawyers all working in New York, Dallas and Washington DC all working towards eliminating the criminalisation of women and girls in the sex industry, who may also be victims of cross-jurisdictional human trafficking and sexual servitude.

To my mind, the King County policy reform model[31] that focuses on re-introducing victim survivors to the workforce through specialised care and support programs, in cooperation with local businesses stands out to me as a policy solution worth replicating across Australia.  Given the economic push/pull factors of prostitution and its associated hams to women’s rights, their bodily safety and mental health, their economic autonomy and work integrity, Australia needs to do better at curbing the demand for our prostituted women and girls.

In the King County approach, survivors of prostitution proposed a policy reform platform including three main pillars of priority:

  1. Criminal justice reforms;
  2.  Fair employment; and
  3. Standards of care.

The sexual exploitation of prostituted individuals has lasting effects which can carry over into many aspects of life, including health, mental health, economic autonomy and psychological trauma. In order to remedy these effects and give survivors the opportunity to live a fulfilling and contributory life in freedom, King County use a survivor-centred approach to create change:

  • Necessary reforms in the criminal justice system to recognise survivors as victims of crime and not perpetrators, while holding those who exploited them fully responsible;
  • Reforms to ensure survivors are assisted in finding fair employment by offering vocational training, financial counselling, and educational scholarships, as well as offering employment opportunities that utilise survivors’ vast array of skills and interests; and
  • Ensuring that the standards of care for survivors exiting prostitution focus on supporting survivors in our journeys and support short- and long-term resources that empower them.[32]

Prostitution laws need to be in line with international standards:In 1949, the United Nations General Assembly paid consideration to a particularly blatant violation of human dignity: prostitution and its exploitation by third parties.[33]

In the preamble to the United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others, of 2 December 1949, the State-Parties recalled that prostitution is “incompatible with the dignity and worth of the human person”. Consequently, the UN undertook to combat pimping in all its forms and to ensure assistance was provided to prostituted persons.

In 1979, Article 6 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) reinforced this policy by explicitly requesting that States Parties: “suppress all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of prostitution of women”.[34]

Further UN data can be found in their periodical Reviews of the CEDAW Committee.[35]

The United Nations Declaration of the Elimination of Violence Against Women states:

  Article 1: “For the purposes of this Declaration, the term “violence against women” means any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”[36]

This definition of violence against women includes forced prostitution and sexual servitude.

Article 2: Violence against women shall be understood to encompass, but not be limited to, the following: (b) Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring within the general community, including rape, sexual abuse, sexual harassment and intimidation at work, in educational institutions and elsewhere, trafficking in women and forced prostitution.”[37]

In 2003 Kofi  Annan, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, adopted special measures to prevent exploitation and sexual abuse, pertaining to all peacekeeping missions operating under UN command and control and to all UN staff. This ‘zero tolerance’ policy, applicable only within the UN framework, makes a significant breakthrough in expressly prohibiting UN stakeholders from any “exchange of money, employment, goods or services for sex, including sexual favours or other forms of humiliating, degrading or exploitative behaviour.[38]

In the early 2000s, the United Nations developed international policies and instruments to supplement those already in place, including international anti-trafficking laws.Within the context of the fight against human trafficking, the Palermo Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children (2000) includes: “the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation” within its use of terms referencing human trafficking and exploitation.

The Trafficking Protocol Article 3(a) states:“Trafficking in persons” shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum; the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.[39]

“We are making an unequivocal statement to the poor, exploited women and girls when we–the citizens of wealthy countries–tell them that it’s not OK to buy human beings for sexual purposes.”[40]

5. The State has a duty to protect its citizens:

The Victorian Government needs to take into consideration the legal principle of the state’s duty to protect their citizens.[41]  Following the rule of customary international law that obliges States to prevent and respond to acts of violence against women with due diligence, emphasised in international case law, and in soft law, through UN Rapporteur Recommendations[42], and the interpretation of international instruments such as the Committee’s Commentary on the Convention of the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in various International Commentaries, it is clear in international law that the State has an obligation to protect its citizens from harm, and to ensure any foreseeable harms are prevented.

The case of Osman v United Kingdom[43], as well as Commentary of the CEDAW Committee conclude that a state can be found complicit in human rights abuses perpetrated by non-State actors. In the landmark cases of Bevacqua and S. v Bulgaria[44] and Opuz v Turkey[45], both cases held national governments responsible for failing to exercise due diligence to adequately protect individuals from domestic violence, recognising that a state’s failure to exercise due diligence to protect women against domestic violence is gender-based discrimination, violating women’s rights to equal protection before the law.

The foundation for State responsibility was established in the case of Velasquez Rodriguez v Honduras[46], in which it was articulated that: the extent of the State’s due diligence responsibilities extended to effective responses from law enforcement, formal measures of protection, including civil protection orders, and punishment and prosecution of perpetrators.

The ruling in M.C. v Bulgaria[47] affirmed and strengthened the State responsibility standards, noting that the State has a positive obligation to first enact criminal law provisions that criminalise non-consensual sex and apply them in practice through investigation and prosecution[48].

The connection between the State’s obligations under the international principles of due diligence, and the State’s responsibility to not only protect all persons from harm, but also prevent harm from occurring, is clear and evident. This applies to protecting women working in brothels from physical, sexual and psychological harm, from potential slavery, exploitation and human trafficking, as well as the violence perpetrated against women by male customers – with impunity.

6. The Nordic Model as an alternative approach to current prostitution laws:

Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark have implemented the ‘Nordic Model[49], with France, Canada, Germany and Israel implementing a Nordic –like Model as a more gender equal human rights compliant approach to prostitution laws. The Nordic Model, as it is referred to, in principle, acknowledges the power imbalance which occurs in the monetary transaction between the paying male cliet and the female prostitute, who is often without autonomy, free will or choice once the client pays.[50]

Although not a prefect legislative masterpiece, the Nordic Model supports women in the industry by providing support through exit programs, emotional and economic rehabilitation, ensuring the provision of alternate employment opportunities, and a way out, if they choose.

Germany considered the Nordic Model approach, after realising that the legalisation of prostitution resulted in a rise in criminality and a rise in brutality against women across the country, as the intention to improve the position of prostitutes through legalisation in fact, achieved the opposite.  

Women have become a resource, a commodity to be used as efficiently as possible – for profit.

The problem with full decriminalisation means that pimps, brothel owners/managers and profiteers in the sex trade are decriminalised and can act with impunity – above the law, including known pimps in Auckland, New Zealand,  John and Michael Chow[51], who are worth an estimated $400 million built on the backs of vulnerable, often exploited women in the New Zealand sex industry.

New Zealand’s Prostitution Reform Act 2003[52], led to New Zealand becoming a sex tourist destination. The decriminalisation laws took away women’s autonomy to negotiate their own deals with clients and maintain clear physical and emotional boundaries. Under these laws in New Zealand which decriminalise prostitution, more power has gone to the pimps and punters.

The Nordic Model laws on prostitution was initially implemented in Sweden in 1999, decriminalising all people who sell sex and provide exit programs for those who wish to leave the sex trade, including services aimed at providing housing, health, education and employment support. Sweden’s prostitution laws are a part of broader legislation known as the Women’s Peace and Sanctuary Laws. 

Chapter 6 s8 of the Swedish Penal Code states:

“Anyone who promotes or encourages or improperly exploits for commercial purposes casual sexual relations entered into by another person in exchange for payment is guilty of a criminal offence and shall be sentenced for procuring to imprisonment for at most four years.”[53]

Sweden’s legislation officially recognises that it is unacceptable for men to purchase women for sexual exploitation, whether masked as sexual pleasure or ‘sex work’. The legislation was based on the foundation that the system of prostitution is a violation of gender equality. The law moves away from targeting the person in prostitution, to the users.

The law is a catalyst for changes in societal attitudes and by eradicating the social prejudice it facilitates women in prostitution accessing societal and medical services. This is demonstrated in Sweden where 80% of the population initially supported the law and the issue today is more about how the law is enforced, then questioning the existence of the law itself.[54]

The Swedish Government Declared:

“For a long time, Sweden’s official attitude to prostitution has been that it is an unacceptable phenomenon in our society and must be combated. Since 1 January 1999, it has been a crime to buy sexual services in Sweden, and an individual who obtains a casual sexual relation for compensation is sentenced to pay fines or serve a prison term of up to six months for the purchase of sexual services. In contrast to previous measures against prostitution, the criminalisation of the purchase of sexual services targets the demand, i.e., the sex buyer or the prospective sex buyer. Since then, discussions on the ban have sprung up in both Sweden and internationally, and various interpretations of the consequences of criminalisation have been put forth.”

As a result of criminalising buyers of sex, these laws have had a marked effect on cultural attitudes to women, especially men’s attitudes, and has been effective in reducing sex trafficking, essentially curbing its demand. In Sweden, once the police have succeeded in identifying a suspect, the prosecutor is contacted and then takes charge of the preliminary investigation.

The following are the three main areas of prosecution of users of sexual services under the Swedish laws:

  1. The purchase of sexual services;
  2. Procurement; and
  3. Human trafficking.

The goal is to damage the market – driven by brothel owners, pimps, but also men buying sex, and to starve it of its buyers.

– Jonas Henriksson, a Swedish Detective Sergeant who works combating prostitution and trafficking – speech in the European Parliament.[55]

“In Sweden it is understood that any society that claims to defend principles of legal, political, economic, and social equality for women and girls must reject the idea that women and children, mostly girls, are commodities that can be bought, sold and sexually exploited by men” – Ekberg[56]

My position is that Australia should go beyond the Nordic-like measures to further protect women from harm in brothels – particularly the most vulnerable, ensuring they have access to psychological support, health care and an economic and employment exit program. Equally, rehabilitative options need to be provided for men caught up in sex addictions and violent behaviours, who perpetrate these harms against our women.

These holistic, gender equal, human rights approaches to prostitution laws would benefit our societies as a whole. Neglecting to act, will leave Australia far-behind the human rights standards that have been set for women in prostitution in several international jurisdictions to date.

I truly hope that Fiona Patten does the right thing by retaining full transparency and objectivity in her review of the submissions to the Victorian prostitution law review this coming month.

I implore the Victorian Government, without prejudice, and without bias, as well as all other State Parliaments across Australia[57] to heed this legal advice, in the best interest of women’s safety and well-being, not only in brothels, but for women and girls everywhere.

[1] Andrea Tokaji is a legal academic, working as a Lecturer in Law and Business at Sheridan Institute for Higher Education, is completing her PhD in slavery at Notre Dame University, and is a human rights advocate and political lobbyist.

[2] Out of respect for the victim survivors of prostitution, I will be referring to ‘sex wok’ as prostitution, at their request.

[3] Sally Patten, Sex Party’s Fiona Patten on her journey form parlour to Parliament, 27 December 2014, Financial Review Journal at:

[4] Julie Bindel and Liz Kelly, A Critical Examination of Responses to Prostitution in Four Countries: Victoria, Australia; Ireland; the Netherlands; and Sweden, For the Routes Out Partnership Board, Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit, London Metropolitan University, 2003, p 18, at:

[5] Such cases have come to light not only globally, but also across Australia.  Significant Cases include: Child trafficking – DPP (Cth) v McIntosh (a pseudonym) [2016] VCC 622. Trafficking in Persons – R v Lay Foon KHOO, District Court of Western Australia 2016; Servitude – R v Yu-Hao HUANG, R v Bo-Syuan CHEN District court of Queensland 8 February 2017; and Slavery – R v Wei Tang [2008] HCA 39 and (2009) 23 VR 332.

[6] Australian Federal Police, ACT Policing Annual Report 2018/19, p 43, at:

[7] Brody S, Potterat JJ, Muth SQ, Woodhouse DEJ, Psychiatric and characterological factors relevant to excess mortality in a long-term cohort of prostitute women. Sex Marital Ther. 2005 Mar-Apr; 31(2):97-112.

[8] Potterat et al., 2004.

[9] Bagley and Young, 1987; Belton, 1992; Dworkin, 1997; Farley and Barkan, 1998; Silbert and Pines, 1983b, 1981; Simons and Whitbeck, 1991.

[10] Farley et al., 2003; Hunter, 1994; Miller, 1995; Parriott, 1994; Silbert and Pines, 1983a.

[11] This Fact Sheet from Nordic Model Now has a thorough breakdown of statistics from psychological and health studies undertaken in the industry:  A good source of statistics for crimes against prostituted women is the Sex Industry Kills website, which gives a country-by-country breakdown here:

[12] Barry K.  The prostitution of sexuality. New York: New York University Press; 1996. 

[13] Barry K.  The prostitution of sexuality. New York: New York University Press; 1996. 

[14] Kaysen D, Resick PA, Wise D. Living in danger: the impact of chronic traumatization and the traumatic context on posttraumatic stress disorder. Trauma Violence Abuse. 2003;4:247–264; also: Prostitution is Inherently Violent, Nordic Model Now, at: 

[15] Young-Eun Jung et. al, Symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Mental Health in Women Who Escaped Prostitution and Helping Activists in Shelters, Yonsei Med J. 2008 Jun 30; 49(3): 372–382. Published online 20 June 2008, at:

[16] Nordic Model Now, representing victim survivors of the sex trade lists these explicit services women are expected to provide without question as including: which includes things like anal fist fucking, group sex, man shits on woman, two men to one woman, and flat-rate “all you can eat” deals.

[17] Melissa Farley, Risks of Prostitution: When the Person Is the Product, Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, December 2017.

[18] The DSM-IV criterion A1 of the diagnosis of PTSD is found in the American Psychiatric Association, 1994.

[19] Professor Neil Malamuth, The Journal of Interpersonal Violence, UCLA Health, 2015, at:

[20] The Sydney Moring Herald, Peter Scully found guilty on child sex charges in the Philippines: Report, June 13, 2018, at:

[21] Lindsay Murdoch, Death penalty call for accused Australian child sex predator Peter Scully in Philippines, The Sydney Morning Herald, September 20, 2016, at:

[22] Cho, Seo-Young and Dreher, Axel and Neumayer, Eric (2013) Does legalized prostitution increase human trafficking? World Development, 41 pp. 67-82. ISSN 0305-750X, at:

[23] The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, at:

[24] George Mullens,Human trafficking: forced labour and slavery, UNA-UK; MA in International Studies and Diplomacy from SOAS, 09 January 2018, at:

[25] Cordelia Hebblethwaite, BBC UK Trending Report: Real Men Don’t Buy Girls, at:

[26] Samantha Landy, Tom Meagher condemns Jill Meagher’s killer Adrian Bayley for anti-prostitution campaign, The Herald Sun, April 28, 2015,  at:

[27] Prostitution, We Don’t Buy it, at:

[28] There is a strong network of hundreds of survivors in Australia that wish to remain anonymous, who have given evidence to this fact.

[29]  Anne Maria Holli ,(2004) ‘Debating prostitution and trafficking in Sweden and Finland’ at:  Equality Minister’s Ulrica Messing, the Social Democratic Party, Protokoll 1997/98: 114, 41.).

[30] Vital Voices Global Partnership, at:

[31] King’s County approach to prostitution laws, rehabilitation ad exit programs – integrated with job search options. King County, Port of Seattle, City of Seattle, Sound Transit, Alaska Airlines, and Delta Air Lines are launching a public awareness campaign encouraging victims and survivors of human trafficking to get the help they need, expanding a previous effort that dramatically increased the number of people who called the national hotline for resources, including medical care, financial assistance, and housing, at:

[32] For additional studies of this model, see the US Government funded Research Paper here: Michael Shively, Ph.D., Kristina Kliorys, Kristin Wheeler, Dana Hunt, Ph.D. A National Overview of Prostitution and Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction Efforts, Final Report,  Document No.: 238796, June 2012 Award Number: 2008-IJ-CX-0010 at:

[33] The United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others, Approved by General Assembly resolution 317 (IV) of 2 December 1949, Entry into force: 25 July 1951, in accordance with Article 24, at:

[34] Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly Resolution 34/180 of 18 December 1979 entry into force 3 September 1981, in accordance with article 27(1), at:


[36] The United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women Proclaimed by General Assembly Resolution 48/104 of 20 December 1993, at:

[37] Ibid.

[38] Despite the UN’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy in 2003, UN Peacekeepers have been known to rape, sexually abuse, assault and even traffic women and girls in their care in disaster areas.  The Heritage Foundation Report: The UN Sex Scandal, 3 January 2005, at:

[39] The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children, supplementing the 
United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly Resolution 55/25 of 15 November 2000, at:

[40] Kasja Claude, Targeting the Sex Buyer: The Swedish Example: Stopping Prostitution and Trafficking where it all Begins, Statement from the Swedish Government officials on Sweden’s prostitution laws, Scribd, at:

[41] For further information on this matter, please refer to: Tokaji, Andrea — “The Incompatibility of Prostitution Laws with International Human Rights” [2017] WA Jurist 7; (2017) 8 The Western Australian Jurist 263, at:

[42] United Nations Office of the High Commission for Human Rights, Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, at:

[43] Osman v. United Kingdom, Application No. 23452/94; (1998) 29 EHRR 245; [1998] ECHR 101.

[44] Bevacqua v. Bulgaria, App. No. 71127/01, Eur. Ct. H.R. (2008).

[45] Opuz v. Turkey, App. No. 33401/02, Eur. Ct. H.R. (2009).

[46] Velasquez Rodriguez v. Honduras, 1988 Inter-Am. Ct. H.R. (ser. C) No. 4, T 172 (July 29, 1988).

[47]  M.C. v. Bulgaria ECHR, 2003, Application no.39272/98, at:{“itemid”:[“003-883968-908286”]}

[48] Ibid.

[49] Nordic Model Now explains: What is the Nordic Model here:

[50] For a more comprehensive analysis, read: THE NORDIC MODEL Embracing globalization and sharing risks, by: Torben M. Andersen, Bengt Holmström, Seppo Honkapohja, Sixten Korkman, Hans Tson Söderström, Juhana Vartiainen, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy (ETLA) Publisher: Taloustieto Oy, 2007 at:

[51] The brothers own a 15-storey super brothel in central Auckland, which, a, according to submissions to Auckland Council, would lead to an explosion of sexually transmitted diseases, child sex slavery, moral bankruptcy, drug warfare and a curse on everyone in New Zealand.

[52] New Zealand’s Prostitution Reform Act 2003, at:

[53] Ministry of Justice; Sweden Division for Criminal Law, Chapter 6 of the Swedish Penal Code, Memorandum, 12 February 2014, at:

[54] Charlotta HolmströmMay-Len Skilbrei, The Swedish Sex Purchase Act: Where Does it Stand?, Oslo Law Review, (Volume 4) , 02 / 2017, at:

[55] Isla MacGregor “How will Amnesty International’s Sex Trade Policy Impact on Human Rights, Poverty and Violence to Women Globally?” for the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Forum in Human Rights Week, Hobart 4 December 2015, at:

[56] “The Swedish Law That Prohibits the Purchase of Sexual Services: Best Practices for Prevention of Prostitution and Trafficking in Human Beings,” published in the October 2004 issue of the journal Violence against Women, 2004; 10:1187-1218. (Sage Publications, United States: 2004), at:

[57] As a lobbyist and human rights advocate, i addition to making recommendations to the Victoria Government on prostitution laws,  I have made several State Submissions to the Northern TerritoryNew South Wales including their Inquiry into Brothels, and Federal Inquiries into slavery, as well as giving evidence to the harms of human trafficking and slavery across Australia.