About CATWA

The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women Australia (CATWA) is the Australian branch of CATW International, a Non Governmental Organization having Category II consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. We work locally and internationally to end all forms of sexual exploitation of women, especially the violence of prostitution, trafficking and pornography.
We are a secular and feminist organisation.
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AIMS

  • to promote a recognition that all forms of trafficking and sexual exploitation are an abuse of universal human rights and constitute severe discrimination.
  • to bring international attention to all forms of sexual exploitation, including trafficking in women, prostitution, pornography, mail order bride selling, incest and rape.
  • to gain legislation in Australia to decriminalise prostituted women and penalise the men who abuse women in prostitution.
  • to develop strategies to support women leaving prostitution.
  • to pressure government to resource exit programs and refuges to support women leaving prostitution.
  • to be pro-woman and support women’s struggle for dignity and survival whether they are in or outside the sex industry.
Why CATWA supports the Nordic Model of prostitution legislation

The Nordic Model is an innovative and holistic form of sex industry policy that is gaining traction internationally. It is a progressive approach and the only option available that is consistent with a feminist human rights framework. It explicitly recognises the gendered nature of demand for sexual exploitation, that is: that women (esp. marginalised women) make up the majority of prostituted persons, and men make up the vast majority of sex buyers.

Key points to note about the Nordic Model (NM):

• The NM originated in Sweden, from secular, left-wing and feminist groups.

• Properly funded exit programs to support those leaving prostitution are central to the NM.

• The NM is a form of asymmetric decriminalisation. All legal sanctions are removed from prostituted persons while pimping, sex buying and brothel keeping are criminalised.

• It is a normative and educative approach to change attitudes and behaviour, including public education campaigns to curb demand for sexual exploitation.

• The NM understands the sex industry as a serious site of violence against women and a barrier to gender equality.