Thursday, 11 May 2017
Dr CARLING-JENKINS (Western Metropolitan) — I rise today to speak about the Australian Summit Against Sexual Exploitation, which I attended and spoke at last weekend in Brisbane. The summit was attended by 16 organisations and over 150 individuals from around the country that are working towards ending sexual exploitation in Australia. In particular there was a large focus on how to stop child exploitation, the harms of pornography on children and how to stop the exploitation of prostituted women.
Highlights of the summit were four resolutions that the organisations reached, calling on different levels of government to take action. The first calls on the federal government to recognise that pornography is a public health hazard which leads to many individual and public health harms and to take steps to address this problem through appointing an expert panel to investigate the public health effects and societal harms of pornography to both children and adults and to make policy recommendations to Parliament.
The second resolution calls on the federal government to conduct a full review of the classification system and the self-regulatory system of the Advertising Standards Board, as it has no power to penalise advertisers who breach the code. It also says that advertising decisions must be made in the best interests of children and calls for appropriate penalties to be enforced for organisations and advertisers who refuse to comply.
The third resolution seeks to address the failings of the Family Court system in Australia, including sending children to live with convicted sex offenders. The final resolution, which is of particular interest to me, calls on all state governments, including the Victorian government, to adopt the Nordic model of prostitution legislation, which recognises that prostitution and sex trafficking are harmful to prostituted and trafficked persons.
I commend the organisers of the first annual Australian Summit Against Sexual Exploitation on a successful event and for promoting conversation around very difficult topics that many are unwilling to discuss.