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Australia’s 8th CEDAW report

CATWA is dismayed with Australia’s 8th periodic CEDAW report. In its comments on Article 6 dealing with the Suppression of the Exploitation of Women, it makes the following comment:

“The Australian Government does not regard state and territory laws that legalise sex work in some Australian jurisdictions as breaches to obligations under Article 6 of CEDAW, as legalised sex work does not necessarily constitute exploitation of prostitution”.

The report makes no mention of the links between economic disadvantage and entry into prostitution, nor of the links between drug abuse, homelessness or family violence as factors leading to prostitution.

The full report can be downloaded from the Office for Women. It is worth noting that the report is for 2010 – 2014 was thus submitted very late. This could be explained by the fact that from 2013 to Sept 2015, the Minister for Women was in fact the then Prime Minister, Tony Abbott. Women’s issues were not high on his agenda.