Safeguards must be included in the plan to legalise prostitution in non-residential areas so sex workers are not "branded for life" through their registration, according to Law Society of WA president Christopher Kendall.
Dr Kendall, who before moving to WA worked in Canada and the US to expose the harm of sex trafficking, said the State Government's proposed laws were well-intentioned with a firm foundation for further change but were not perfect.
"Perfection would require a society where women are treated as equals, where men who use and often abuse women as sexual commodities are held accountable and where those who profit from the sexual exploitation of women and children are prevented from doing so," Dr Kendall said.
"This legislation does not redress those issues.
"No legislation in Australia redresses these issues and, given the current level of debate surrounding legislation of this sort and the often polarised positions on both sides of Parliament, it is doubtful whether any legislative scheme in the current political climate could do so."
Dr Kendall supported the Government's plan to fund help for women to leave the industry and an attempt to tackle abuse from those who force others into prostitution.
Importantly, he said, the Prostitution Bill identified the industry as one in which women were hurt and where society's commitment to equality was most challenged.
He applauded the fact that the Bill disproportionately targeted those in positions of power and who engaged in coercive behaviour.
Dr Kendall said it was understandable the proposed laws required registration and monitoring, which would help prevent children and vulnerable women being lured into the legalised industry.
But any form of licensing risked a paper trail and protections were needed to guide how information was used and disposed of to prevent women being branded for life.
"This would be at odds with the Government's commitment to assist women to escape an industry that persuades women to stay by telling them that they are inferior and unworthy," he said.
Attorney-General Christian Porter has had talks with independent MPs and Liberal backbenchers, who have a conscience vote on the Bill, over proposed amendments which could garner support to get it through Parliament.
Mr Porter said he welcomed Dr Kendall's positive input.Labor has vowed to oppose the Bill because of concerns about mandatory registration.
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.