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Baldock: NZ headed in wrong direction again

Media Statement
For immediate release
Wednesday, 9 June, 2004

Baldock: NZ headed in wrong direction again

Britain's decision to overhaul its sex laws for the first time in 50 years by looking at adopting the Swedish model of criminalising the purchasing of sexual services and assisting prostitutes to leave the industry is further proof that New Zealand took bad advice, United Future's Larry Baldock said today

"The Prostitution Law Reform Act passed last year was an exercise in stupidity that ignored all the growing evidence around the world of the increase in the trafficking of women and children in the sex industry," Mr Baldock said.

"Wherever the law has been liberalised, more harm has occurred," he said.

Suzanne Smith, from the organisation RESPECT in Australia is also calling for the re-criminalisation of prostitution there after reliable reports that there could be at least 1000 bonded sex slaves in Australia. Prostitutes have been trafficked mainly from Thailand on false passports and visas.

"It's only a matter of time before we wake up in New Zealand to the horrors of what we have opened the door to," Mr Baldock said.

He urged people to get behind the project to complete a Citizens Initiated Referendum to put the issue on the ballot paper for 2005. The week June 20-27 will be called Repeal Week for the launch of the referendum. It coincides with the first anniversary of the passing of the Prostitution Reform Act on 25 June last year.

Ends.

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