The University of Queensland Working Group on Human Trafficking recently released a report stating that the prostitution laws in Australia had failed. Since 1999, women in Australia have had the option of working legally in licensed brothels or on their own. The hope was that women with an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for commercial sex would set up their own businesses, and make everything safe, legal, and regulated. That hasn’t happened.
What has happened, instead, is entrepreneurial pimps have lured and trafficked Asian women to Australia and set up illegal brothels with lower prices. Trafficking is “booming” in Queensland, and there are few laws to help protect women who are lured or coerced into prostitution against their will. And as legal brothels try and compete with the trafficking boom, they cut costs, which often involves cutting freedom and benefits for women. Even in the legal, liscenced brothels of Queensland, women have reported being coerced into working under unfair conditions or against their will.
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