Australia: Sex workers win apology from Salvation Army after threatening protest on Red Shield Appeal

Friday, 22 May 2009 6:20 PM

LiveNews | Tim Brunero

The Salvation Army has issued a public apology after a sex worker lobby group labelled one of the charity’s newspaper ads “discriminative”.

The Scarlet Alliance, which represents the interests of sex workers nationwide, took exception to an ad in today’s Daily Telegraph and threatened to issue a ‘red ban’ on the Red Shield Appeal which launched today.

“The very last thing we would want to do would be to distance ourselves from any person in need and so as a direct result we pilled the ad from our public media.”

Elena Jeffreys, president of The Scarlet Alliance, has welcomed the apology but says some damage has already been done.

“We welcome the apology that the Salvation Army has given. We welcome the fact that they have pulled the ad and we believe this sends a strong message to other charities that may wish to capitalise on sex worker discrimination.

“It’s not OK to use us to raise money for your organisations.”

The ad tells the story of ‘Rick’, a sex worker the Salvos say they saved from a life of “heroin and hustling” by dramatically flying him interstate so he could attend rehab.

The ad read: “To get Rick out of prostitution, we had to resort to smuggling. This is the door that saved his life”.

The controversy was in serious danger of overshadowing this morning’s star-studded launch of the Red Shield Appeal, attended by General Peter Cosgrove, Mick Doohan, Icehouse star Iva Davies and Beaconsfield mining heroes Todd Russell and Brant Webb.

Link to original at Livenews

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