A number of states, including New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia, have passed legislation making it illegal for anyone under 18 to be in a sex work environment.
News.co.uk sat down with sex worker, director and producer of the new documentary Sex on the Beach, Laura White to discuss what it was like to be a sex worker in New South Bay and the impact of the law.
Laura told News.org.au that the new law has created a huge void for sex workers in the region, with sex workers being unable to work with people who are not licensed to work in the state.
“We’re basically being told that we can’t work here, we can only work here,” she said.
Laura said that in the days following the law, sex workers were forced to travel to different cities around the state, where they were harassed, threatened and even killed.””
If we want to be here, then we have to have a licence, and the law says you have to be 21 or over to be licensed to be there.”
Laura said that in the days following the law, sex workers were forced to travel to different cities around the state, where they were harassed, threatened and even killed.
“It was like they were not even allowed to go anywhere at all,” she recalled.
“I remember being on the bus at Melbourne airport and the bus driver said, ‘Oh, I’ve got to get a licence because this is a legal place’.”
Laura said she was eventually given a licence for a year and a half to be working in Melbourne’s CBD, but when she tried to apply for a new one, it was denied.
“After about a month of applying, I was told that I had to get another licence,” she recounted.
“They basically said, it’s illegal to work, so you can’t be here.”
Laura’s film, Sex on The Beach, follows two young women who decide to start a sex business after witnessing the violence and violence of the sex trade in their community.
“This is the first time I’ve ever been in this place where I can actually tell people what it is like, what is happening, and what I’m going through,” Laura said.
Laura said her film explores the issues that people face when they are forced to leave their homes, while also giving a platform to the sex workers themselves to share their experiences.
“Our story is about a woman who has had her family taken from her, who’s been raped, who is facing deportation, and also her friends,” she explained.
“She’s an artist, she’s a writer, she has a boyfriend and a husband and she wants to continue working as an artist.”
Her story is one that I want to tell and I want people to see because I think we’re seeing more of the kind of issues that sex workers face.
“Laura was also inspired by the work of the Australian Council for Civil Liberties and the Human Rights Commission, which is advocating for sex work to be decriminalised.”
A lot of these laws are really outdated and just don’t actually do anything,” she told News .”
What we’re talking about is a huge injustice and I think a lot of the legislation that is being passed around the world is not actually doing anything.
“Sex on the beach was filmed at the Sydney Centre for the Arts in Sydney, Australia.