Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Unflinching Support for Prostitution Reform Bill

Unflinching Support for Prostitution Reform Bill

No one disagrees that society needs to address those factors that pressure people into prostitution. But, in the interim, should those currently in the industry, or who seek to leave that industry continue to have lesser human rights than the rest of us?

At its centennial conference in 1996, the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) membership introduced policy that supported the decriminalisation of prostitution-related offences while maintaining legislative controls to protect the independence and welfare of sex workers.

Seven years on and NCWNZ remains convinced that decriminalisation of prostitution is a matter of social justice and human rights.

"NCWNZ believes the Bill will not encourage entry into prostitution - but unaddressed poverty related factors will. NCWNZ also believes the Bill may encourage those who wish to leave prostitution, because it removes the possibility of prostitution-related convictions. To criminalise young people for their prostitution would only increase their social marginalisation and perpetuate their disadvantaged status" said Beryl Anderson, NCWNZ National President.

The law changes debated thus far do not endorse, morally sanction, or normalise prostitution. Decriminalisation means, as it did in 1996 and does today, removing the blanket criminality of an activity and replacing it with a more targeted law focused on the real harms associated with that activity.

Uniquely in any prostitution law reform worldwide, the Bill provides for the establishment of a review committee. This will be a real opportunity to monitor the industry working under the new legislation. The review committee will provide some robust data and valid information on which to base any future changes without the supposition and emotion that has clouded the present debate.

"NCWNZ is absolutely against the exploitation of prostitutes just as we are against exploitation per se, and supports fully the Articles of CEDAW on the suppression of trafficking in women, the exploitation of prostitution, and the need for equal protection under the law that prostitutes require," said Beryl Anderson.

The Prostitution Reform Bill, if passed by Parliament, provides New Zealand with an opportunity to address the social disparity experienced by sex workers so that they don't have to wait whilst the real social causes of prostitution are tackled.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

CPAG Report: The Further Fraying Of The Welfare Safety Net

New Zealand’s welfare system has undergone a major transformation during the past three decades. This process has seriously thwarted the original intent of the system, which was to provide a decent standard of living for all New Zealanders in times of need...

In 2017 it is not unusual for families to be living in their cars, in garages, or in substandard boarding houses. Food banks are unable to meet the soaring demands from not only beneficiaries but, increasingly, the working poor. Private charities, such as KidsCan and Variety, are overwhelmed by the demand from poor families for basic necessities. More>>



Risks & Adaptation: Cheaper To Cut Emissions Than Deal With Climate Change

The cost of climate change to New Zealand is still unknown, but a group of experts tasked with plugging the country's information gaps says it will likely be significant and it would be cheaper to cut greenhouse emissions than simply adapting to those changes. More>>


BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>


Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>


State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>





Featured InfoPages