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Human Rights Call to Combat Child Prostitution

Human Rights Commission
Media Release
4 May 2006


Human Rights Commission Calls for Comprehensive Programme to Combat Child Prostitution

"The Manukau City Council (Control of Street Prostitution) Bill is fundamentally flawed and should be withdrawn", Chief Commissioner Rosslyn Noonan told the Local Government and Environment Select Committee today.

The Commission told the Select Committee that the Bill breaches a number of rights and freedoms in the NZ Bill of Rights Act 1990.

Aspects of the Bill are incompatible with international human rights instruments. Its development was inconsistent with a human rights approach in that it overlooked the rights of street sex workers: the group most affected, who are amongst the poorest, most marginalised and disadvantaged of New Zealanders.

The Bill is a disproportionate response to the problem. It is also an insufficient and inadequate response.

Acknowledging the concerns of Manukau City Council, residents, and retailers about the impact of street sex workers and soliciting in some areas, the Human Rights Commission recommended:

„_ the use of existing powers to deal with disorderly and offensive behaviour, such as sections 2 and 3 of the Summary Offences Act
„_ the involvement of street sex workers in the development of solutions to the problems being experienced
„_ a concentrated, comprehensive and adequately resourced programme to diminish child prostitution
„_ a Cabinet requirement that, as well as Child Youth and Family, the Ministry of Social Development and the Police, the Department of Labour and the Ministries of Education and Health be required to work with the Manukau City Council and local community organisations on the development and implementation of a programme to eliminate child prostitution
„_ that consideration be given to a requirement that sex workers, on Police request, provide identification of age, as for the purchase of alcohol.

The submission provided a human rights analysis, challenges the Attorney-General's Bill of Rights analysis and provides essential amendments should the Select Committee decide to proceed with the Bill.

Ends

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