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Statement re Underage Prostitution

Media Release 11th May 2001

Statement re Underage Prostitution

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE FROM CHILD, YOUTH AND FAMILY, THE POLICE AND COMMUNITY AGENCIES.


Child, Youth and Family, the Police and community agencies have resolved to continue working to address the issue of underage prostitution and children at risk on the street.

Representatives met earlier today to discuss recent concern and to share information. Agencies represented included the Police, Child, Youth and Family, ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of children for sexual purposes), Maori Wardens, NZ Prostitutes’ Collective, Manukau Youth Centre, Youthline and Te Aronga Hou Trust.

“There was a great deal of energy and commitment, and all the agencies are committed to continue working closely to help address this situation,” says Child, Youth and Family’s South Auckland Area Manager Alan Newman.

A working group is to be set up to take the work done today and get firm strategies in place to move forward.

“Child, Youth and Family investigates all notifications received of children or young people involved in prostitution and we will continue – though we need the help of the community to do this. We will also work closely with the Police in bringing about any prosecution of abusers of children and young people. Of particular concern to Child, Youth and Family is to support those agencies who have more direct day-to-day involvement with the children and young people in question”.

An important priority is to draw people’s attention to the changes in the Crimes Act which specifically prohibits commercial sex with children and young people under the age of 18, says Police spokesperson Dave Simpson.

“We want to send a clear message - people guilty of using children and young people for sex are breaking the law.”

ENDS

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