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Baldock queries NZ Herald article on prostitution


Baldock queries NZ Herald article on prostitution

United Future New Zealand MP, Larry Baldock, is questioning the accuracy of an article on prostitution published in the New Zealand Herald yesterday. (Eds: Monday, Nov. 4)

“The article by Angela McCarthy claims that the Association of Massage Parlours is in favour of the reform legislation now before Parliament’s Law and Justice select committee.

“This is very surprising,” says Mr Baldock, “since they made submissions on the bill opposing it.

“I don’t know who the “Archibald” is that McCarthy quotes, but it is an example of pretty poor journalism in my opinion. She quotes one late 40’s prostitute who has worked as a prostitute for 20 years as an example, even a model, of an average prostitute.

“Catherine Healy of the Prostitutes’ Collective told the select committee that the average length of time most prostitutes spend in prostitution is three years, and the average age is certainly not 40 something,” he says.

After returning in the weekend from 16 days overseas meeting with government officials and those involved in NGO’s seeking to assist those affected by prostitution in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and the US, Mr Baldock says it’s important that New Zealanders keep their eyes open to the realities of the international situation.

“The scale of international trafficking in women and children is a major concern, and this must be what we take into consideration to balance the demands from a few women who want the government to protect them from the negative side effects of selling sexual services.

“The Prostitution Law Reform Bill in its current form goes far beyond addressing the concerns expressed by the New Zealand Prostitutes’ Collective. It allows for pimping and street soliciting to be decriminalised, activities which most countries in the world are trying to eliminate, because they promote the abuse of women and children rather than protect them.

“More than 100,000 women, many of them under the age of 18, are being trafficked virtually as slaves for the sex trade in Europe alone every year. Most are coming from Russia and the regions of the former USSR and we should not deceive ourselves with the idea that we are too far away to be affected by this here in NZ,” says Mr Baldock.


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