Who do you work with?:
RhED primarily works with sex workers; female, male, trans and gender diverse, and their families, partners and friends. As we are a service for the whole sex industry, we also work with clients and third parties such as managers and owners of sex industry businesses.
How are sex workers involved in your organisation?:
Sex work experience is essential for all our volunteers, some of whom become casual or full time paid staff. Sex workers are paid for participating in reference groups and working parties, ensuring that we remain representative as an organisation.
Which of NSWP priority areas does your organisation work on?:
Oppose the criminalisation and other legal oppression of sex work and support its recognition as work
Critique the trafficking paradigm that conflates representations of sex work, migration, and mobility
Advocate for universal access to health services, including primary health care, HIV and sexual and reproductive health services
Speak out about violence against sex workers, including violence from police, institutions, clients, and intimate partners, while challenging the myth that sex work is inherently gender-based violence
Oppose human rights abuses, including coercive programming, mandatory testing, raids and forced rehabilitation
Challenge stigma and discrimination against sex workers, their families and partners, and others involved in sex work
Advocate for the economic empowerment and social inclusion of sex workers as sex workers
What are the two main challenges that the sex workers you work with face:
Sex workers in Victoria, Australia work under a licensing system in relation to their industry. As a result of this legalised system of sex work, a two tiered system exists in Victoria where parts of the industry are criminalised. Criminalised sex workers face legal consequences in relation to their work. Sex workers working legally in Victoria still face high levels of stigma and discrimination in relation to their work.
Describe other areas of your work:
RhED provides advocacy, support, education, information, referrals, interpreter services and translated materials. RhED has an Arrest Referral Program which was instrumental in developing a special court session at the Melbourne Magistrates Court in Victoria, Australia for sex workers charged with work related offences and other non-violent crimes.