NSW Brothels must be accessible to people with disabilities

August 20, 2015

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) is pleased to make a submission to the NSW Legislative Assembly Select Committee inquiring into the regulation of brothels in NSW. The regulation of brothels considers many human rights concerns, including the rights of people with disabilities.

The right to sexual expression and equal choice are fundamental human rights and must be afforded to people with disabilities who may wish to access brothels in NSW.

The current regulatory regime applied by many NSW councils restricts the location of sex worker services to designated industrial zones, which are often isolated, difficult to access and poorly lit. This makes it difficult and potentially dangerous to access services for people with disabilities.

All services and facilities publicly available must be accessible for people with disabilities in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

“Article 9 of the CRPD requires that appropriate measures be taken to ensure persons with disabilities have access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, so that they can live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life. This must be taken into account when reviewing the regulation of brothels in NSW” says ALHR President Nathan Kennedy.

When considering the regulation of brothels in NSW, “the rights of people with disabilities must be upheld in all aspects of life to ensure that the community offers an inclusive environment” Mr. Kennedy said.  ALHR looks forward to the Inquiry’s findings.

 Media Contact: Natalie Wade, Disability Committee

E: disabilityrights@alhr.org.au    M: 0413 174 195