Report says students being recruited in Victoria's Asian-dominated prostitution racket

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Melbourne, Jan.21 (ANI): A confidential study of Victoria's sex industry has revealed that students are being recruited into the Australian state's Asian-dominated legal and illegal brothels by college staff, immigration agents and solicitors.

Consumer Affairs Minister Tony Robinson told the Herald Sun that he believed the disturbing practice was an Australia-wide problem.

Robinson appealed to the powerful State Parliament committee to further examine the role of the groups in the trafficking of women into sex work.

The study, ordered by Robinson, is the state's most comprehensive look at the world's oldest profession since the Neave Report of 1985, which resulted in the legalising of brothels in Victoria.

Prostitutes interviewed for the study revealed up to 25 per cent of Victoria's brothel workers are university students.

Police and other prostitution enforcement officers are quoted in the study's final report, which has been seen by the Herald Sun, saying some international students are recruited into brothels as soon as they arrive in Victoria.

The officers claimed some English language colleges in Melbourne appear to be operating as points of entry into lucrative sex work.

One prostitution enforcement officer revealed intelligence gathered in raids on brothels indicated immigration agents and solicitors are also involved in providing overseas sex workers to Victorian bordellos.

"The Asians are very well organised, very well organised," the officer said in the report, which is to be released this month.

According to the report:

There are about 10 underage hookers working Melbourne's streets at any one time.

Drugs are common in illegal brothels and even some legal ones have a drug-friendly culture.

Asians who operate illegal brothels are effectively taking over the licences of some legal brothels by paying licensees to cede control of their businesses to them.

Bikie gangs and other groups are exploiting prostitutes by getting them involved in illegal escort services.

More than half of the men who visit prostitutes ask for sex without condoms, despite the health risk, and unscrupulous bordello operators pressure workers to agree to the practice.

Some workers in both legal and illegal brothels voluntarily offer sex without condoms if the price is right.

Street prostitutes are the smallest group of sex workers in the state they are the group most likely to be assaulted and be drug users.

There are 95 legal brothels in Victoria and almost certainly even more illegal ones.

Some prostitutes in Victoria routinely earn more than 3000 dollars a week. (ANI)

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