Victorian sex worker peer organisation Vixen Collective has welcomed an announcement from the state Liberal Party that it will not be supporting the ‘Nordic model’ of criminalising sex work.

“The Liberal Nationals have no plan to adopt the Nordic model for the policing of sex work in Victoria,” said Victorian opposition leader Matthew Guy.

The party had passed a motion in support of the Nordic model at its recent state conference.

Sex workers and peer organisations around Australia and internationally oppose Nordic model laws, which criminalise sex work by making it illegal to be a client of a sex worker.

“Vixen Collective recognises the hard work of sex workers in Victoria and across Australia in successfully opposing Liberal Party support for harmful Nordic model laws, as well as the work of Scarlet Alliance (Australian Sex Workers Association) and other peer-based sex worker organisations across the country, and of allies and supporters who have joined us in this fight,” said a spokesperson.

Sex work advocates have said that the Nordic model is shown to increase violence against sex workers, hinder their ability to report crime to police, reduce their ability to negotiate the use of condoms, and cause loss of income and deterioration of living conditions—while not reducing the rate of either consensual sex work or trafficking.

“We welcome this statement from Matthew Guy making clear that the Liberal Nationals have no plans to adopt the Nordic model, but note that no law or policy relating to sex work should be made without consultation with sex workers and our peer-based representative organisations,” said a Vixen Collective spokesperson.

“Failure by government to consult with our community produces law and policy that harms sex workers.

“Evidence shows that sex workers’ rights, health, and safety are best supported by the full decriminalisation of sex work.

“We expect in future that the Liberal Party, or any other political party in Victoria, recognises that consultation with sex workers and our peer-based representative organisations is indispensable, prior to law or policy being formed on sex work.”

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