Sex Worker Legal Program
We deliver specialised legal services, education and advocacy to move towards a fair, safe and accessible justice system for sex workers that respects and upholds their human rights
Southside Justice (then St Kilda Legal Service) first worked with the Prostitutes Collective of Victoria decades ago to provide legal help and advocacy for sex workers.
We now partner with Vixen, Victoria’s peer sex worker organisation, to continue this work, and have established the Sex Worker Legal Program following the passage of the Sex Work Decriminalisation Act 2022 (Vic).
Sex Work Decriminalisation
The second and final stage of the Sex Work Decriminalisation Act 2022 comes into force on 1 December 2023. Sex Work Decriminalisation has brought important new anti-discrimination legal protections to Victoria. Decriminalisation recognises sex work as legitimate work and enables sex workers to engage their rights as workers and community members in a way not previously possible.
The Work We Do
The Sex Worker Legal Program offers free legal advice, information and referrals to sex workers in Victoria, and ongoing assistance to those who need it most.
We focus on:
- discrimination law
- workplace rights, and
- workers who remain criminalised or who face multiple barriers to accessing justice.
We share information, educate and advocate to create a better justice system for sex workers.
While we are a small service, we work side by side with sex workers and partner with other legal and community services to bring about this change.
We partner with Vixen to ensure sex workers’ voices shape our service and inform everything we do.
Working with Vixen and other community and legal services, we are contributing to a justice system in which:
- Sex workers have a stronger collective and individual voice across the legal system and in all legal and policy issues that impact them.
- Sex workers can access information to make informed decisions about legal processes.
- Sex workers can receive legal services that respond to their needs and acknowledge their strengths and experiences.
- Sex workers who use our service feel heard, respected and supported as they navigate legal processes and systems.
What sex workers can expect when engaging with our service
- We recognise people who use our service – and all sex workers – as the experts in their own lives, and we respect their autonomy as decision makers.
- We are trustworthy and independent advocates led by the goals of those we assist.
- We are sex work affirmative and strive to be accessible and culturally safe for all sex workers.
- We live our principles and are proud, accountable and always learning.
How to access the program yourself or make a referral on someone else’s behalf:
- To seek legal advice, information or referrals for yourself from SWLP, please contact Southside Justice’s main reception on 03 7037 3200 and follow the voicemail prompts to be put through to our intake worker or leave a message. Alternatively email email@example.com
- To make a referral for someone else with their consent, click here and complete the referral form.
- For up to date accessible community information about sex work decriminalisation please go to Vixen’s decrim info hub: https://vixen.org.au/infohub/
- RhED’s legal information for sex workers page: https://sexworker.org.au/sex-workers/legal/
- Consumer affairs Victoria: Decriminalising sex work in Victoria – Consumer Affairs Victoria
- Or contact our service for individual information and advice about your situation