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Title: Sex work regulation and legal consciousness : a comparative socio-legal study of England (UK) and New South Wales (Australia)
Author: Klambauer, Eva
ISNI:       0000 0004 7427 9980
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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The regulation of sex work is a contested, emotive, and polarising policy issue. Sex workers are commonly excluded from the political debate regarding the regulation of sex work. While sex workers’ rights organisations are gaining ground internationally, the voices of sex workers who are not politically active are rarely heard. Yet, the experiences of sex workers provide the most accurate narrative of how the regulation of the sex industry affects those whom sex work policy commonly claims to protect. Drawing on 138 interviews with sex workers and key stakeholders, this study investigates the relationship between sex work, its regulation, and sex workers’ legal consciousness. Based on a socio-legal, interpretivist, and comparative case study of England, which can be classified as a neo-abolitionist legal framework of sex work, and New South Wales (NSW) in Australia, where the sex industry is largely decriminalised, this thesis demonstrates that the legal framework of sex work matters for sex workers’ working conditions, safety, and access to rights far beyond the direct impact of the written law. Despite discrepancies between statute and implementation, the differing degrees of legality of sex work in England and NSW profoundly impact on sex workers’ sense of legal entitlement. Additionally, this study found that sex workers’ grievances differ between sectors of the industry according to their legal and social status. Different groups of sex workers not only put forward diverging, but in many cases also contradicting legal claims. Although decriminalisation is the far more appropriate legal framework for ensuring sex workers’ safety, well-being and autonomy, additional protective measures are crucial for balancing out differences in the bargaining power of street-based, brothel-based and independent indoor workers.
Supervisor: Kotiswaran, Prabha ; Nelken, David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available