Survey collection sites
New South Wales
In Sydney, Scarlet Alliance staff collectors (two Thai-speaking and one Korean-speaking) and steering committee members (four Thai speaking) spent three weeks collecting responses, targeting predominantly Thai brothels. This was supplemented by six collection sessions at the language clinics of the Sydney Sexual Health Centre (Korean and Thai speaking). A further six weeks of Chinese-targeted collection (by four Chinese-speaking steering committee members) and one week of Korean-targeted collection in Sydney followed. English-speaking Scarlet Alliance staff and trained collectors also collected surveys in Kings Cross, East Sydney and Surry Hills. English-speaking collectors from SWOP NSW administered surveys during their outreach sessions across Greater Sydney and Newcastle. The Newcastle collection was done in partnership with Thai-speaking Scarlet Alliance staff collectors.
In Melbourne, key members of the steering committee who had a detailed understanding of the Melbourne sex worker landscape advised on which locations to focus to obtain survey participants. They were requested to provide information on locations to target, particularly in relation to unlicensed premises, Chinese, Korean and Thai brothels and locations where bad work conditions had been anecdotally reported, and/or which had been investigated by the police or immigration. Both licensed and unlicensed premises were targeted, as were Chinese and Thai parlours. This collection was conducted over two days by the Thai-speaking team of two, who targeted the Thai parlours, and a further five days by the Chinese-speaking team of two, who targeted the Chinese parlours. A Korean-speaking collector spent two days collecting surveys at the Melbourne Sexual Health Clinic. A further two days of collection occurred in Melbourne, which included collection at the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre during its multicultural clinic, outreach to target brothel locations and an evening at a street drop-in service.
Survey collection in Townsville was conducted with a trained peer collector (Japanese-speaking) based in north Queensland and accompanied by a Scarlet Alliance staff collector (Korean-speaking). Two days of collection were undertaken in Toowoomba by the Korean-speaking Scarlet Alliance staff collector. The Brisbane collection was conducted over four days by Scarlet Alliance staff collectors (Korean and English-speaking) and a trained collector from Respect Inc. (Chinese-speaking).
In Adelaide, Scarlet Alliance staff (Korean-speaking), in partnership with a Chinese-speaking multicultural project officer from the Sex Industry Network (SIN), conducted outreach targeting private sex workers in Adelaide suburbs for the purposes of collection. This project officer and trained SIN staff continued with collection during their regular outreach sessions.
Australian Capital Territory
A trained outreach worker (English-speaking) from SWOP ACT collected surveys during regular outreach visits in the region. Scarlet Alliance staff collectors (English, Korean and Thai-speaking) accompanied outreach sessions on two occasions specifically targeting Asian brothels.
Collection in Perth and Kalgoorlie was conducted by Scarlet Alliance staff collectors (English and Korean-speaking) over five days in total. This included a day at the Magenta sexual health clinic for sex workers.
During the five days, two days of collection were conducted in Perth by the Scarlet Alliance staff collectors (English and Korean-speaking). They were joined for a further day in Perth by Scarlet Alliance staff (English, Korean and Thai-speaking) and a trained Respect Inc. collector (Chinese-speaking). The Scarlet Alliance staff collector (English-speaking) and Respect Inc. collector did another two days in Perth while the Scarlet Alliance staff collectors (Korean and Thai-speaking) conducted surveys for two days in Kalgoorlie.
|Question number||Wording||Question Type||Number of missing responses||Percentage||Total sample|
|1||How old are you?||Multiple choice||2||0.3||592|
|2||What gender are you?||Multiple choice||0||0.0||592|
|3||What country were you born in?||Multiple choice||3||0.5||592|
|3a||What region in this country were you born in?||Open ended||294a||49.7||592|
|4||What country would you identify as your home country?||Multiple choice||17||2.9||592|
|5||What languages do you speak at work?||Multiple choice||7||1.2||592|
|6||How well do you speak English?||Multiple choice||8||1.4||592|
|7||What is your present relationship status?||Multiple choice||17||2.9||592|
|8||How many children do you have?||Open ended||142a||24.0||592|
|8a||Of these children, how many are under 14 years?||Open ended||204a||34.5||592|
|9||What is the highest level qualification you have completed?||Multiple choice||11||1.9||592|
|10||What country were you living in before you arrived in Australia?||Multiple choice||97b||16.4||592|
|10a||What region in this country were you living in?||Open ended||397a||67.1||592|
|11||What was your main occupation before coming to Australia?||Multiple choice||10||2.4||412|
|12||What are the main reasons you left your home country?||Multiple choice||4||1.0||412|
|13||Have you ever done sex work in a country other than Australia?||Multiple choice||24||5.8||412|
|13a||If you answered Yes, list this country/these countries in the space below.||Open ended||34||8.3||412|
|14||Is this the first time you have done sex work in Australia?||Multiple choice||52||8.8||592|
|15||Did you do any of the following to help you enter Australia?||Multiple choice||139b||23.5a||592|
|16||How do you spend the majority of your income?||Multiple choice||50||8.5||592|
|16a||If you ticked Pay debts in Australia or Pay debts in home country, was this debt incurred by travelling to Australia or securing your current job?||Multiple choice||67a||11.3||592|
|17||Who helped you secure your visa?||Multiple choice||138b||23.3a||592|
|18||Were the people who helped you secure your visa based in Australia?||Multiple choice||81a||19.7||412|
|18a||If you answered No or that There were people based in Australia and another country in question 18, please list the country/countries where they were based in the space below.||Open ended||154a||37.4||412|
|19||Were you accompanied by any of the following people when you travelled to Australia?||Multiple choice||20||4.9||412|
|20||What is your intended length of stay?||Multiple choice||15||3.6||412|
|21||Do you think you will want to come back to Australia to work again?||Multiple choice||37||9.0||412|
|21a||If you answered No, please list your reasons in the space below.||Open ended||78a||18.9||412|
|22||Did you come to Australia instead of a country in the following regions?||Multiple choice||78a||18.9||412|
|23||Why did you decide to come to Australia?||Multiple choice||10||2.4||412|
|24||How much did it cost for you to travel (including air fares), enter and start working in Australia?||Open ended||200a||48.5||412|
|25||Is your current income in Australia better than in your home country?||Multiple choice||46a||11.2||412|
|26||Are you satisfied with your income in Australia?||Multiple choice||95a||16.1||592|
|26a||If you answered No, please list your reasons for this in the space below.||Open ended||122a||20.6||592|
|27||On average, how many hours do you work most days?||Multiple choice||13||2.2||592|
|28||On average, how many days do you work most weeks?||Multiple choice||14||2.4||592|
|29||How many clients do you see in a week?||Multiple choice||31||5.2||592|
|30||If you had a choice, would you change the number of clients you see?||Multiple choice||24||4.1||592|
|31||What type of workplace/s are you currently working in?||Multiple choice||15||2.5||592|
|32||Do you get paid regularly?||Multiple choice||14||2.4||592|
|32a||If you answered No, please explain when you get paid and the reasons for this arrangement.||Multiple choice||49||8.3||592|
|33||What proportion of your wage do you personally receive?||Multiple choice||215a||36.3||592|
|34||How do your current working conditions (ie treatment by co-workers and clients, wages, living arrangements, hours and amount of work etc) compare to what you expected them to be?||Multiple choice||212a||35.8||592|
|35||If you have ever been on a contract for sex work in Australia, did your actual working conditions reflect the terms of this contract?||Multiple choice||165a||27.9||592|
|36||Do you have easy access to your passport?||Multiple choice||12||2.9||412|
|37||Does your workplace allow you to refuse clients?||Multiple choice||28||4.7||592|
|38||Out of your own money, which of the following does your workplace charge you for?||Multiple choice||133a||22.5||592|
|39||Have you experienced any of the following in the workplace?||Multiple choice||183a||30.9||592|
|40||What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Australia for sex work?||Open ended||423a||71.5||592|
|41||What are the racial backgrounds of the clients that you see?||Multiple choice||50||8.4||592|
|42||Are there reasons why you wouldn’t use condoms while working?||Multiple choice||52||8.8||592|
|43||Have you ever been arrested by the police for sex work in Australia?||Multiple choice||36||6.1||592|
|44||Have you ever had the Department of Immigration and Citizenship come to your workplace?||Multiple choice||57||9.6||592|
|45||Please read the following statements. Please circle one response only. Yes if you agree with them, No if you disagree or Sometimes if you conditionally agree with the statements. [NB: Statements asked whether it was legal to be fined if you take a day off work and whether it was legal for your boss or anyone else to stop you from leaving your job if you want to.]||Multiple choice||63a||10.6||592|
|46||Please indicate whether you have heard of and would use any of the following services. [NB: Services included sex worker organisations and services.]||Multiple choice||215a||36.3||592|
|47||What are the reasons for any difficulty you’ve had in accessing any of the services listed above?||Open ended||158a||26.7||592|
|48||Please circle the main place you would contact for the issues listed in the following table; working conditions.||Multiple choice||228a||38.5||592|
|48||Please circle the main place you would contact for the issues listed in the following table; violence.||Multiple choice||236a||39.9||592|
|48||Please circle the main place you would contact for the issues listed in the following table; domestic violence.||Multiple choice||254a||42.9||592|
|48||Please circle the main place you would contact for the issues listed in the following table; victim of crime.||Multiple choice||253a||42.7||592|
|48||Please circle the main place you would contact for the issues listed in the following table; involvement with a criminal incident.||Multiple choice||272a||45.9||592|
|48||Please circle the main place you would contact for the issues listed in the following table; visa issues.||Multiple choice||288a||48.6||592|
|48||Please circle the main place you would contact for the issues listed in the following table; financial problems.||Multiple choice||251a||42.4||592|
|48||Please circle the main place you would contact for the issues listed in the following table; sexual assault.||Multiple choice||249a||42.1||592|
|48||Please circle the main place you would contact for the issues listed in the following table; health issues.||Multiple choice||274a||46.3||592|
|49||What do you think of interpreter services in Australia?||Multiple choice||116a||19.6||592|
|50||Do you find it easy to access information and/or services in the language you mainly use at home?||Multiple choice||124a||20.9||592|
|51||Where do you get your general information from in Australia?||Multiple choice||94a||15.5||592|
a: Question had a ‘high’ non-response rate (10% or more)
b: Question had a high non-response rate out of all respondents, but not for migrant respondents. This is relevant only to questions that were directed at migrant respondents, but had an option for non-migrants to select from (therefore relevant to both groups). See Notes below
Notes: For question 10, the missing responses for migrant respondents equalled n=8 (1.9%). For question 15, the missing responses for migrant respondents equalled n=38 (9.2%). For question 17, the missing responses for migrant respondents equalled n=36 (8.7%). For question 34, the missing responses for migrant respondents equalled n=139 (33.7%). For question 49, the missing responses for migrant respondents equalled n=77 (18.7%). For question 50, the missing responses for migrant respondents equalled n=77 (18.7%). Due to survey print errors, seven respondents received a survey without questions 40–45 (inclusive); these respondents were recorded as ‘missing’ responses to these questions. Due to a survey print error, one respondent received a survey without questions 46–51 (inclusive); this respondent was recorded as ‘missing’ responses to these questions. Due to survey print error, ten respondents received a survey without the first two multiple choice responses to question 51; these respondents were recorded as ‘missing’ responses to this question
All data collected from the surveys were categorical in nature; therefore, chi-square was the most appropriate test for significance. Chi-square analysis can be used to measure the independence of two categorical variables—that is, whether or not a variable influences the frequency of another variable. In this way, the frequency distribution of two categories of one variable to the categories of another can be compared for significant differences.
Each observed frequency is compared with an ‘expected’ frequency. This expected frequency is the frequency that should be observed if the variables were unrelated to each other. The difference between observed and expected is assessed for significance, which determines whether the difference is related to chance or the nature of the variable. This difference is called the adjusted residual; when it is <–1.96 or >1.96, the expected frequency is considered significantly different from the observed.
For 2×2 comparisons, the Yates-adjusted chi-square measure was the most appropriate to account for the small cell numbers. It is a more conservative measure of chi-square.
All analyses and data cleaning were conducted using the statistical computer software STATA.
Migrant sex workers in New Zealand
A survey of 124 New Zealand-based migrant sex workers was conducted in 2012 using a similar methodology and nearly identical survey tool to that used in this research project (Roguski 2013). The survey was developed and administered by the New Zealand Prostitutes’ Collective (Roguski 2013). The majority (80%) of migrant sex workers surveyed were born in Asia (Roguski 2013) and knew they were going to New Zealand when they left their home country. Of those who did not expect to be going to New Zealand, this appeared to be due to the respondents’ not being certain of their self-organised travel arrangements at the time they left their home country (Roguski 2013). While substantial sums were expended by some respondents in travelling to New Zealand, the highest costs were attributed to fees for tertiary-level study (Roguski 2013). There was no indication evident from the survey responses of employers imposing indebtedness on migrant workers.
The majority of respondents reported working for commercial workplaces (ie brothels, escort agencies or massage parlours). The majority reported they were not on a contract but were being paid regularly (Roguski 2013). There was a high level of income satisfaction, and those who were not satisfied cited high living expenses in New Zealand as the reason for the dissatisfaction (Roguski 2013). Migrant respondents reported working long hours—most commonly up to six to 10 hours a day, five or six days a week, seeing 10 to 19 clients a week (Roguski 2013). However, one-third of respondents still wanted to see more clients (Roguski 2013).
There was some indication of restricted freedoms and a lack of knowledge of workplace rights, although this was evident only among a minority of respondents (Roguski 2013). Five percent were working in a workplace that did not allow the refusal of clients; just less than 10 percent indicated that they thought it was legal for their workplace to fine them, and five percent did not have easy access to their passport (Roguski 2013). Migrant respondents also demonstrated difficulties with accessing the services provided by the New Zealand Prostitutes’ Collective—mainly because of a lack of knowledge about these services. Only 40 percent stated that they had no difficulty in accessing these services (Roguski 2013).