30 Pages Posted: 23 May 2008
This article addresses the question whether sex workers who face persecution because they are sex workers may be able to claim refugee status in Australia on the basis that they fear persecution as members of a particular social group. The author argues that they ought to be able to make such a claim. This is based either on the work in sex work, on the ground of the current Australian authorities on occupation as a form of particular social group under the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, or the sex in sex work, by analogy with lesbian and gay claims to refugee status. The author concludes, however, that such claims are unlikely to be successful until sex workers' rights are better recognised and protected under international and domestic law.
Keywords: sex worker, refugee status, persecution, Australia
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Walker, Kristen L., Damned Whores and the Border Police: Sex Workers and Refugee Status in Australia. Melbourne Univeristy Law Review, Vol. 31, No. 3, 2007; U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 332. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1136525