Out of sight, out of mind? Prostitution policy and the health, well-being and safety of home-based sex workers

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Journal Article
Critical Social Policy, 2013, 33 (1), pp. 140 - 159
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Policy discussions relating to the selling of sex have tended to fixate on two spaces of sex work: the street and the brothel. Such preoccupation has arguably eclipsed discussion of the working environment where most sex is sold, namely, the private home. Redressing this omission, this paper discusses the public health and safety implications of policies that fail to regulate or assist the 'hidden population' of sex workers, focusing on the experiences of home-based workers in Sydney, Australia. Considering the inconsistent way that Home Occupation Sex Services Premises (HOSSPs) are regulated in this city, this paper discusses the implications of selling sex beyond the gaze of the state and the law. It is concluded that working from home can allow sex workers to exercise considerable autonomy over their working practices, but that the safety of such premises must be carefully considered in the development of prostitution policy. © The Author(s) 2012.
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