Table of Contents
Prostitution is defined as the exchange of sexual acts performed by one party for either money or something of value to said party by party who is at the receiving end of the exchange. (Sexton Cushman, Jennifer C. Ames, Salem Press Encyclopedia, 2013) Simply put, prostitution is a form of trade; it has its own market with buyers and sellers. This phenomenon of prostitution is by no means a new one; dated from colonial times prostitution has become one of the oldest professions and up till today has an active market. From its advent, prostitution had always been a controversial issue. Attempts to sweep prostitution under the rug brought about a new slew of problems for countries, ranging from abuse of prostitutes to diseases spread by prostitutes. Herein, countries took mainly two approaches: (1) legalizing prostitution and effectively putting in place a statue of rules and regulation, which had to be abided by. (2) Criminalizing prostitution as a whole, hence anyone who engaged in prostitution was punishable under law. Both approaches had their costs and benefits, to both buyers and seller. (Walkowitz, Judith R., 1980) However, a black market emerged in prostitution – wherein prostitutes engaged in illegal prostitution (illegal as defined by either the statue or law). Using Australia as our case study, this paper aims to understand the core reasons underlying the emergence as well as sustenance of the black market for prostitution. Australia
Prostitution in Australia
Prostitution in Australia is multi faceted – brothel prostitution, street prostitution and escort prostitution are only a few of the different types of prostitution avenues available. Prostitution had posed the government a multitude of problems in Australia – prostitutes were being attacked and robbed, hawking in “respectable” residential estates and spreading sexually transmitted diseases. (Jeffreys, 2010) Then Prime Minister Keating came under public scrutiny as the problems brought about by prostitution grew. In 1994, Keating administration passed the Prostitution Control Act 1994, the first legal statue of its kind in Australia. (Appendix A – rmb to include!!!) Legalization of prostitution
The Australian legalization policies could be summarized into three main categories: laws which punish prostitutes for selling sex; laws punishing those who are involved in the management and organization of prostitution; and, although uncommon, laws which punish those who purchase sex. (Pinto, 1996) While the benefits of these laws have been far reaching, the black market was established soon after with a huge following. It is also notable that legalization of prostitution statutes were not passed in uniformity in Australia, with the laws varying across the states. (Appendix A) Methodology
Our group has studied this phenomenon by making use of secondary research. We have enabled this form of research due to our lack of resources in conducting primary research on the illegal prostitution scene in Australia. Legalization has not been effective:
Legalization aimed at solving problems such as criminal involvement in the industry, unregulated expansion of brothels, and violence done to street-prostituted women. However, legalization has solved none of these problems and has instead led to many more. Men, who would once have been classified as procurers and pimps, are now seen as a newly respectable class of sex “businessmen.” The state lives off the earnings of prostitution through increased taxation, licensing fees and the promotion of prostitution tourism (Sullivan, 2010). Such measures, in essence, normalise prostitution, turning it from a vice into nothing but a profitable business. Trafficked women and children are kept in conditions of slavery, and trafficking has increased to supply the new brothels. Child prostitution has grown markedly in this state compared with other states in Australia. In fact, a 1998...
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