Fake news and prostitution: What the numbers tell us

in Video , Tagged Democracy, Prostitution, Policy, Fake news.

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Fake news is one of the greatest threats to our democracy. Sadly, it is now not uncommon for those in positions of power to willfully misrepresent facts and figures to advance their own elected causes. While countries around the world are increasingly trying to address the problem, questions about free speech arise as leaders scramble to contain the phenomenon. 

But what about those already marginalised people who never had a strong voice to begin with? What happens when numbers regarding their everyday existence are distorted and inflated to make claims and push agendas that have a strong appeal to human emotions, but few basis in facts? 

While sex work divides opinions, one thing is abundantly clear: We cannot have a discussion on public policy, if we don't have the accurate figures. Professor Hendrik Wagenaar, co-author of 'Designing prostitution policy: Intention and reality in regulating the sex trade', conducted comparative research in Austria and Netherlands with his colleagues to develop a full picture of this contentious topic.   

BroadAgenda Editor, Dr Pia Rowe was delighted to sit down with Professor Wagenaar during his brief visit to Australia, and drill down into the data from this extensive research. Today's short interview is first in a three part series, and focuses on the numbers specifically to set the scene. The story, as you might guess, is not as simple as it first may appear.  


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