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Turner: CYFS can't close eyes to child prostitutes

Turner: CYFS can't close eyes to child prostitutes

Most child prostitutes would be known to CYFS - and if they're not, they should be, United Future welfare spokeswoman Judy Turner says.

"And hence this is just one more failure on the part of this organisation to meet its statutory duty of care for children," she said after taking up the issue of child prostitution with associate Social Development Minister Ruth Dyson in Parliament yesterday.

"CYFS cannot absolve itself from responsibility for the fact that a dozen girls, aged 13 to 16 were arrested for selling their bodies on the streets of Christchurch last May.

"It cannot absolve itself of its failure when a 14-year-old in its care turned up working in a Wellington brothel just weeks ago.

"It cannot absolve itself when media reports detail children as young as 10 selling their bodies in our main cities," Mrs Turner said.

"These kids don't just appear on our streets overnight.

"Each one comes from a home - and almost invariably a very troubled home. The vast majority of them would have crossed CYFS path - but obviously to little good effect."

"It is hard to see this organisation making a real difference in real young lives, particularly in light of the recent ECPAT study showing that most child prostitutes come from backgrounds of sex abuse, drug-taking, family dysfunction and neglect.

"The fact that CYFS gave no information for the survey when its participations was sought just about sums it up," Mrs Turner said.

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