The Liberal Party in Victoria is to be congratulated today after they became the first major party to pass support for legislation that recognises prostitution as exploitation of vulnerable people for sex or profit.

“The Liberal Party is to be congratulated on taking this important step which will support the vulnerable and is known to reduce human trafficking,” Australian Christian Lobby Victorian director Dan Flynn said.

“After today’s overwhelming vote for the Nordic model at the Liberal Party’s State Council meeting, it is expected that if the Liberal Party win the next state election, legislation will follow.”

Wendy Francis, from the ACL’s Centre for Human Dignity observed: “Prostitution isinherently harmful, degrading, and exploitative.  It is the commodification of (mostly) women’s bodies by (mostly) men.”

“Where prostitution has been legalised, it has in turn normalised the purchase of sex and perpetuated the inequalities that feed the sex industry,” Mrs Francis said.

The Australian Christian Lobby has been lobbying for the Nordic approach to prostitution legislation for many years.

“I have witnessed first-hand the success this approach had in Sweden in reducing prostitution and other exploitative practices,” Mrs Francis said.

“There is a way we can help vulnerable women caught in prostitution, sometimes trafficked there, it is the Nordic approach.

“It was particularly heartening to hear Merrily Hansen, a young Liberal woman, championing the cause to protect women through this motion which passed overwhelmingly today.

“Sweden,Norway, Iceland, Canada, Northern Ireland, Ireland and France are just some of the countries that have implemented this proven approach which is also under consideration in Israel, Luxembourg and Italy.

“In this generation, when we know that many prostitutes are trafficked and have no better options, when movements such as #metoo are raising awareness around sexual abuse which is rampant in the prostitution industry, we can no longer tolerate the exploitation and inherent injustice found in prostitution.”