Australian Summit Against Sexual Exploitation

Fighting for Justice Foundation joined our colleagues and like- minded organisations across Australia in Brisbane on 5-6 May at the Australian Summit Against Sexual Exploitation to tackle one of the greatest epidemics in our society today, and to be forward thinking on how we can end sexual exploitation in our lifetime.

Organisations at the Summit included: Bravehearts; Brisbane Feminist Collective; Culture Reframed; City Women; Collective Shout; Fighting for Justice Foundation; JAM – Justice and Mercy; Pink Cross Foundation Australia; Porn Harms Kids; QAK – Queensland Alliance for Kids; Rahab; Salvos Brothel Outreach Teams; Sister Survivor; Stop the Traffic; Women’s Forum Australia; and Youth Wellbeing Project.

We know that sexual exploitation affects many women and girls – whether it is through the sexualisation of girls in our media, in ads and music videos, the abuse of women in adult films of parlours, the slavery and trafficking for the demand of the commodification of flesh, or whether it is the demand for child brides, wife rape or sexual abuse and assault through partner violence – all of these women and girls face the same reality – they have been exploited, abused and traumatised.

And yet – they remain strong.

They survive.

They are here to reach out to others.

The most vile form of sexual exploitation is happening online – to children as young as babies.

Why?

Because there is a demand for this perverse footage – and it makes money.

Here is Liz walker giving us an update on the great work of Porn Harms Kids. Fighting for Justice Foundation are long term partners with the work of Porn Harms Kids, and the Chair –

As a Collective, the organisations represented at the Summit made the following key declarations:

  1. Pornography has created a national health crisis which demands a societal response.
    Delegates from the Australian Summit Against Sexual Exploitation held in Brisbane on Saturday 6th May 2017, call upon the Federal Government to recognise that pornography is a public health hazard which leads to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms; and that there is a need for education, prevention, research, and policy change at the community and societal level in order to address the pornography epidemic that is harming our nation. Steps to prevent pornography exposure and addiction, to educate individuals and families concerning its harms, and to develop recovery programs must be addressed systemically in ways that hold broader influences accountable. We ask that an expert panel be appointed to investigate the public health effects and societal harms of pornography to both children and adults, and to make policy recommendations to Parliament.
  2. We call on the Federal Government to conduct a full review of the classification system and the self-regulatory system of the Advertising Standards Board.
    The Advertising Standards Board (ASB) has no power to penalise advertisers who breach their code. Neither can they penalise advertisers who disregard a determination and fail to remove offending advertisements. Given the failure of the current self-regulatory system to meet community expectations specifically in the areas of advertising to children and the portrayal of women, the delegates of the Australian Summit Against Sexual Exploitation call on our Federal Government – to direct the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) to amend both their Code of Ethics and Code of Advertising and Marketing Communications to Children to include a principle that decisions in regards to advertising must be made in the best interests of children; and conduct a full government review of the current classification and self-regulatory system, and introduce appropriate penalties for organisations/advertisers who refuse to comply.
  3. We call on the Federal Government to conduct a Royal Commission into the dysfunction of the Family Law Systems of Australia.
    Following a report by Bravehearts, “Abbey’s Project”, highlighting failings within the Family Court System, including sending children to live with convicted sex offenders, the below delegates from the Australian Summit Against Sexual Exploitation call upon the Federal Government to conduct a Royal Commission into the dysfunction of the Family Law Systems of Australia.
  4. We call on our Government to adopt the Nordic Model of prostitution legislation.
    The Nordic Model takes an abolitionist approach to prostitution and trafficking, refusing to accept that booming markets for prostitution and sex trafficking are desirable or inevitable. The Nordic Model comes from an understanding that prostitution and sex trafficking are harmful to prostituted and trafficked persons, as well as barriers to social justice. Australia signed the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in persons, especially women and children (known as the ‘Palermo Protocol’) in 2005. This obliges us to: Adopt or strengthen legislative or other measures, such as educational, social or cultural measures, including through bilateral and multilateral co-operation, to discourage the demand that fosters all forms of exploitation of persons, especially women and children, that lead to trafficking (UNOHCHR, 2013).

As advocates for social and cultural change, the delegates of the Australian Summit Against Sexual Exploitation call on our Government to deliver on these international obligations, as well as our social obligation to protect the vulnerable, and work towards implementing the Nordic model of legislation for our policies relating to prostitution, both at Federal and State levels.

Contact us if you would like to get involved in this work, or if you would like to partner with Fighting for Justice Foundation through your giving, becoming a volunteer or as one of our advocates!

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