Queensland and Victoria now have a system that allows prostitutes to practice semi-legalized. They divide prostitution into legal and illegal sectors, and rely on the strict rules of law enforcement.
“At the time of the pandemic, direct prostitution services were banned in Queensland. We received this notice just one day before the order was issued. The next day, the police began to prosecute the sex workers”, Batiste said.
“We have conducted 11,300 checks to ensure that recreational facilities such as massage parlors, striptease clubs and brothels are obeying the order of social closure and isolation,” said a spokesman for the Department of Queensland police told The Guardian.
Many organizations raise funds to support sex workers.
Organizations like the Scarlet Alliance are also increasing support for workers who are unemployed or unable to find work as national security levels become stricter.
In Victoria, in order to work legally, women must live in a licensed or registered brothel with the state government. Their records cannot be changed and will be provided to the courts and police in Victoria. Kim worries this will come with unforeseen risks.
Kim says protection measures for sex workers in kangaroos are still weak. They are often overlooked about their own and their family’s need for confidentiality.
Sarah must lie on her declaration to get support. Before the pandemic, she mainly worked in red light streets.
“I can’t fully disclose it to the government and have said I’m being supported by my parents. Some people are quite open to sharing their information, but I think it’s not safe, ”said Sarah.
One of the positive things that can be seen from the pandemic, Kim argues, is kindness from communities engaged in sex work. They have been lobbying for donations to help other colleagues while waiting for government support.
Each week, 100% of Scarlet Alliance’s fundraising will go to people in need.
Prostitutes are discriminated against. Many people have to give up their dreams.
Although temporarily stable when switching to online practice, Jenna Love is still worried about her future.
For many, participating in online prostitution also closes their future career options.
Jenna feels lucky that her work has been legalized in New South Wales. But licensing also comes with stigma and discrimination. Perhaps they will never forget that feeling in their whole life.