Wednesday 21 November 2012

Special Edition 20

news@cooberpedynews.com.au

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 Decriminalisation leaves sex workers worse off: professor

 

FamilyVoice Australia Media Release 1 November 2012 

 

“The SA women MPs who are promoting decriminalisation of prostitution genuinely want to help women,” Professor Sheila Jeffreys told some MPs and others in Adelaide’s Parliament House yesterday.      

“They think that by treating prostitution as a normal profession like any other, the women can access occupational health and safety measures and be a little better off.      

“That’s what motivated MPs in NSW when they decriminalised the sex industry in 1995 – but the effect has been the opposite of that which they apparently intended.      

“They argued that decriminalisation/legalisation would limit the growth of the sex industry and end organised crime involvement; it would reduce opportunities for police corruption; it would promote public health by enabling better control of sexually transmitted infections; it would lead to a decline in street prostitution; it would reduce violence against the women and girls in the industry. In all these respects they have been wrong and these harms have been exacerbated,” Professor Jeffreys said.       

Professor Sheila Jeffreys , a professor of social and political sciences at Melbourne University, was commenting on the SA Sex Work Reform Bill which is based on the decriminalisation model of prostitution law. The bill is currently under debate in both houses of the SA parliament, sponsored by Hon Steph Key and Hon Gail Gago.       

“The decriminalisation/legalisation prostitution experiment in Australian states has failed,” Professor Jeffreys said. 

“It has made it easier for traffickers to use trafficked women and blend in with a purportedly regulated sex sector, making it more difficult for prosecutors to identify and punish traffickers. In Germany, which has legalised prostitution, they estimate there are 62 times more trafficked women in prostitution than in Sweden where male buyers have been criminalised.”      

Sheila Jeffreys is the author of several books on prostitution – most recently The Industrial Vagina, which examines the industrialisation and globalisation of the sex industry. She is the public officer of the Coalition Against Trafficking of Women Australia (CATWA) and a board member of CATW International, which has Category II consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.      

Some MPs were taken aback when Professor Jeffreys read out official OHS “safety tips” for legal escorts in Melbourne – such as being careful about using local anaesthetic to dull vaginal pain because it might mask serious injuries. 

Many people do not realise the internal damage suffered by many sex workers during the normal course of “business” – injuries which would never be acceptable in any other business. The pain and injury, including mental injury, suffered by women in prostitution leads many of them to try to block out the pain with legal and illegal drugs.       

Professor Jeffreys advocates the Swedish or Nordic model of prostitution law, which has deterred traffickers, eliminated street prostitution and helped many women quit prostitution via effective exit programs.

 

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UV DANGER FOR EYES WIDELY MISUNDERSTOOD 

Optometrists issue warning as new survey reveals most Aussies don’t understand

 the eye health risks associated with sun exposure.

 

  New data from Optometrists Association Australia has revealed that most

Australians are unaware of the UV danger times when it comes to eye health,

potentially putting themselves at risk of sun damage to the eyes, eye lid cancer

and pterygia, a common growth over the white part of the eye.  According to the

survey, almost 60 per cent of Australians believe it is only the midday sun that

poses the greatest UV threat to their eyes.   Worryingly, of those living in the

sun-drenched Northern Territory and Queensland, 89 per cent and 64 per cent,

respectively, believe that the midday sun poses the highest threat. The

Optometrists Association Australia survey was conducted in the wake of research

from Japan[1] – a country that mirrors Australia’s sun height and strength

conditions – that clearly established that UV exposure to the eye before 10am and

after 2pm may be higher than during the middle of the day on some days.  Most

Australians are unaware of this fact, with only 10 per cent nominating before 10am

or after 2pm as potential peak UV problem periods.  According to OAA spokesperson,

Andrew Hogan, UV eye protection should be used not only at noon but at all times

of day. The high UV exposure to the eyes before and after midday is due to the

angle of the sun in relation to the eye.   “People must protect their eyes all day

and all year round, as UV exposure can peak at times when ordinarily we may not be

wearing UV protective lenses and at times when we believe we are not exposed, such

as when the UV is coming from behind us.  “It is not only the direct sun on a

fine, clear cloudless day in summer that can cause damage,” Andrew Hogan warned. 

“Research has shown that a greater proportion of ultraviolet rays can reach the

eye from scattered sunlight from clouds and light reflected from the ground and

off water.” Surprisingly, 11 per cent of those surveyed said they had never

thought about sun exposure to their eyes or considered it to be dangerous. “With

summer approaching, it is critical that Australians focus not only on the dangers

of ultraviolet rays to the skin, but also on the danger to the eyes,” Mr Hogan

urged.  

  The OAA survey, which examined attitudes to eye health and protective lenses, also

found that only around one third of those surveyed considered the Eye Protection

Factor (EPF) of lenses when choosing sunglasses, despite the fact that almost 50

per cent said protection from UV rays and sun damage was their number one reason

for wearing sunglasses. “As a nation of sun lovers we understand the importance of

the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) for our skin and it’s really important that people

are also aware that Australia’s sunglasses industry uses a similar rating to

assess protection of the eyes against UV rays – the Eye Protection Factor (EPF),

as well as the mandatory Australian Standard for UV protection which is labeled on

all sunglasses sold in Australia,” Mr Hogan explained. Almost 40 per cent of

Australians said they did not wear UV eye protection when playing outdoor sports –

typically a period of prolonged UV exposure due to both the overhead sun and

reflected UV rays. When it comes to our everyday eyewear, 75 per cent of

Australians who wear prescription lenses are not aware of their level of UV

protection.   Protective options for the eyes against UV include sunglasses,

prescription sunglasses, photochromatic lenses that darken when you walk outside

and UV-blocking contact lenses for active outdoor people.  Hats and visors can be

used in addition to sunglasses and side shields on sunglasses can also decrease

the amount of UV reaching the eye.  “Australia’s high levels of ultraviolet rays

can cause long-term and permanent harm to the health of your eyes, as well as your

skin, and can contribute to a range of eye conditions, including macular

degeneration – one of the leading causes of blindness in Australia.  Because

damage is cumulative, the choice you make now may affect your future,” Mr Hogan

advised. To educate Australians about the dangers associated with UV eye exposure

and ensure all Australians know how to select the most appropriate eye protection

for themselves and their families, the OAA has launched a UV Eye Protection

awareness campaign: U are Vulnerable. For more information including practical

tips and advice visit: www.UareVulnerable.com.au  Optometrists are experts in

vision care and can assist Australians in selecting the right lenses for their

lifestyle

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Census Information Sessions
 

Thursday 29 November 2Ol2

Coober Pedy Council Chambers, Hutchison Street, Coober Pedy

On 9 August 2011, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) conducted the 2011 Census of Population and Housing, 
relying heavily on the support of the local community. 
In June this year, the first data from the census became available.
Andrew Stidston (SA Census Engagement Manager) and Ivan Copley (SA Indigenous Engagement
Manager) will be holding the following free sessions in Coober Pedy to present the results from the
2011 Census and would like to extend this invitation to you, your work colleagues and networks.
  
Session 1  2.30pm - 3.15pm
 Spotlight on Coober Pedy- results from the 2011 Census
Come along to this session to find out about the Census, how it was conducted, and what the data can
tell us about Coober Pedy. Key facts and findings from the 2011 Census will be presented, as well as a
look at how the region has changed since the 2006 Census, and how it compares to other regions and
South Australia.
 
 Session 2   3.3Opm - 4.OOpm
      Census products & services
This session provides a more in-depth look at accessing and using Census data for planning, policy or
research purposes.  The session will cover:
*     How to find Census and other data on the ABS website
*     Key products for accessing Census data, including QuickStats, Community Profiles and TableBuilder
*     Levels of geography used by the ABS
*     The difference between Estimated Resident Population (ERP) and Census counts
*     Future release dates for Census data (including occupation & industry data, mesh blocks and SE|FA)
 
Session 3        4.OOpm - 4.3Opm
TableBuilder demonstration
A detailed look at TableBuilder, the most comprehensive free Census product allowing users to build
customised tables using 2011 Census data. The session will demonstrate how to use TableBuilder to:
*      Create customised tables of Census data
*      Display data as graphs or thematic maps
*      Create and save customised geographies and groups of data items
*      Download maps and graphs
 
Please RSVP by emailing andrew.stidston@abs.gov.au or ivan.copley@abs.gov.au or calling (08)
8237 7668 by Friday 23rd November indicating which sessions you wish to attend.
 
Light refreshments will be provided between sessions 1 and 2.
 
                                      Presented by the Australian Bureau of Statistics

 

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