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Project overview


Name of Project

Western Australian Law and Sex Worker Health (LASH) Study 2.0

Project Status


Ethics approval

Curtin University’s Human Research Ethics Committee approved this study (HRE2016-0078).

Chief Investigators

A/Professor Linda Selvey (The University of Queensland), Dr Jonathan Hallett (Curtin University), Dr Roanna Lobo (Curtin University), Ms Kahlia McCausland (Curtin University), Ms Julie Bates (Urban Realists Planning & Health Consultants) and Professor Basil Donovan (University of New South Wales).

Timeframe of Project

2016 - 2017

Brief overview

The LASH 2.0 Study was conducted in 2016 and builds on the 2007 LASH Study, focusing on the whole of Western Australia, and spanning the wider sex industry including private workers, men and transgender workers. This project aimed to investigate the impact of the law on Western Australian sex workers; their health and safety; and the intersections between sex workers, health service providers and Police. It is hoped that the information collected through this study will contribute to decisions about the provision of services to sex workers and to inform any future legislation relating to sex work.


  1. Describe the size and types of sex worker services in Western Australia including brothels; escort services; private and street-based workers; workers from non‐English speaking backgrounds; female, male and transgender workers.
  2. Assess the health of sex workers including sexual health, mental health, injuries and violence.
  3. Assess the access of sex workers working in a range of settings to health promotion and health and safety resources.
  4. Enumerate and describe Police and court charges for sex workers, their managers and their support services.
  5. Compare the situation in 2016 to what was described in the 2007 LASH Study.

The study components are:

  1. Environmental scan
  2. Sex worker health and safety survey and interviews
  3. Venue audit
  4. Sexually transmissible infections and blood-borne virus prevalence study
  5. Court outcome data provided by The Department of Attorney General


The study was funded by the Sexual Health and Blood-borne Virus Program, Communicable Disease Control Directorate, Western Australian Department of Health.

Project outputs and impacts

The results of the project are scheduled to be released later in October, further details will be made available then. 


Publications are upcoming shortly.