Australia's skills shortage: foreign prostitutes line up

Other News Materials 29 April 2008 11:04 (UTC +04:00)

A lobby group for brothel owners Tuesday demanded a skilled migration stream for foreign prostitutes because Australia's booming economy needs more sex workers just like it needs more doctors, plumbers and welders.

"We're seeking a human-rights approach to labour migration generally, so that any labour migration policy can include a non-discriminatory approach to sex workers as well," Scarlet Alliance spokeswoman Elena Jeffreys told national broadcaster ABC.

She argued that the millions of dollars a year the Immigration Department spent raiding brothels and deporting illegal workers would be saved if sex workers could apply for visas under the skilled migrant category, reported the dpa.

"If human rights can be broadened to include migrant sex workers in Australia, then people have got a better chance of stopping exploitation before it happens," she said.

Immigration officials have already rejected the proposal, saying that prostitutes, like would-be fruit pickers, did not qualify for working visas because their level of skill was too low.