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


LGBTI organisations call for decriminalization of sex work

During the final day of the ILGA World Conference, held in Aotearoa New Zealand, LGBTI activists worldwide resolved to address the stigmatisation of sex workers, including in the LGBTI movement. The resolution passed in the closing session of the conference and opposes all forms of criminalisation and legal oppression of sex workers - an historic first for ILGA World, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association.

“By approving this resolution, our global LGBTI family is saying loud and clear that addressing violence, criminalisation and human rights violations against LGBTI and all sex workers must be a priority for our movement", said outgoing ILGA co-Secretaries General Ruth Baldacchino and Helen Kennedy. "LGBTI sex workers are an integral part of our communities and movements, and have shaped key moments in queer history: we must listen to their voices, stand by their side and continue our fight towards social justice for all".

Concerned by the high levels of violations, violence, discrimination and exclusion faced by sex workers, this global LGBTI network representing more than 1,500 organisations from each region of the world join a growing number of human rights, health and anti-trafficking organisations demanding governments recognise sex work as work, and protect sex workers’ labour and human rights.

ILGA World approved the resolution during its 30th World Conference, held in Aotearoa New Zealand - a country that decriminalised sex work in 2003, establishing an integrative policy allowing sex workers to choose their place, type, and method of work, including the right to refuse clients. This has been recognised as being among the best practices for sex work policy and law by the UN and other international organisations, as well as women’s organisations in New Zealand, including the Maori Women’s Welfare League, the largest indigenous women’s organisation in the country.

Allan Heta Cleaver, a Board member of the New Zealand Prostitutes’ Collective, explains:

“As a young Maori sex worker I was arrested and convicted of prostitution and soliciting pre the decriminalization of prostitution. Doing street-based sex work, my health and safety was often at risk and I was unable to call upon the police for help. Having returned to sex work after a long break and after decriminalisation, I am now able to work indoors and not be so at risk. I know the police will come to my aid, if I need them. Moreover, I can access healthcare and information on my rights through peer-led organizations like NZPC. Sex workers’ rights are human rights!”

One of the conference organising groups, Tiwhanawhana Trust, advocates for takatapui - some of whom are, or have been, sex workers. Founder and Chair of Tiwhanawhana, Elizabeth Kerekere says:

“A disproportionate number of sex workers are Maori and many are takatapui. We uphold the rights of sex workers to lead and be involved in all decision-making to do with their lives, their well-being and their sector. We support the work of NZPC and look forward to helping give life to the ILGA World resolution.”

Sabrina Sanchez, trans woman, Mexican migrant in Spain, founder of sex workers union OTRAS in Spain pointed out:

“Many trans women escape from violence in their home countries, and migrate to find safe places where we can be ourselves without the fear of being murdered for our gender identity, expression or sexual orientation. Sex work often is the only job available due to the restrictive asylum policies in the Global North countries”.

Research has shown that, among the 2,982 trans people murdered between 2008 and 2018, 62% whose profession was known were sex workers. The ILGA World resolution recognises that many LGBTI individuals enter sex work due to transphobia, biphobia and homophobia that limit access to education and other forms of employment, and at the same time denounces the criminalisation of sex work, including the criminalisation of clients.

Luca Stevenson, Coordinator of ICRSE, a European sex worker network of 100 organisations adds:

“A growing number of countries in Europe and globally are implementing or considering implementing the repressive Swedish Model of criminalisation of clients, ignoring the overwhelming evidence that all forms of criminalisation of sex work directly increase sex workers’ vulnerability to violence, HIV and human rights violations. We applaud ILGA World for listening to sex workers and support our rights through decriminalisation.”

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Legal Issues: Gordon Campbell On The Commerce Commission Fuel Report

Yesterday’s interim Commerce Commission report on the fuel industry will do nothing to endear the major oil companies to the New Zealand public.

Apoparently, the fuel industry is an oligopoly where the Big Three (BP, Mobil and Z) that import 90% of this country’s fuel also control the supply, pricing, profit margins etc etc, from wharf to petrol pump, thereby all but throttling genuine competition at every stage along the way. More>>


Emergency Govt Bill: Overriding Local Licensing For The Rugby

“It’s pretty clear some clubs are having difficulty persuading their district licensing committees to grant a special licence to extend their hours for this obviously special event, and so it makes sense for Parliament to allow clubs to meet a community desire." More>>


Leaving Contract Early: KiwiBuild Programme Losing Another Top Boss

Ms O'Sullivan began a six-month contract as head of KiwiBuild Commercial in February, but the Housing Ministry has confirmed she has resigned and will depart a month early to take up a new job. More>>


Proposed National Policy Statement: Helping Our Cities Grow Up And Out

“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections. We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land." More>>


Ombudsman's Report: Ngāpuhi Elder 'Shocked' By Conditions At Ngawha Prison

A prominent Ngāpuhi elder is shocked to find inmates at Ngawha Prison are denied water and forced to relieve themselves in the exercise yard... Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a report highly critical of conditions at the Northland prison. More>>


Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>


School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>


IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>


Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>

PM's Post-Cab: Bad Mail

Cabinet was updated on the process around prisoners sending mail, following the accused Christchurch gunman sending letters that "should have been stopped". All mail of "high concern prisoners" will now be checked by a specialist team and a changes to the legal criteria for witholding mail are expecting to go to a cabinet committee in this parliamentary session. More>>




InfoPages News Channels