Family First NZ is welcoming a recommendation from the Tasmanian state’s Commissioner for Children, Paul Mason, to prohibit the purchase of sex in order to protect children.
A report into the case of a 12 year old Tasmanian girl, who fell through the cracks of the state’s child protection services and was prostituted to more than 100 men not only detailed the failures of state authorities to protect the vulnerable child, but came with the recommendation that “the Government review the Sex Industry Offences Act 2005 and in doing so actively consider the option of prohibiting the purchase of sexual services other than for certified medical reasons and actively consider the contribution of any amendment to the safety and sexualisation of children”.
“A recent review by Auckland police found girls as young as 12 prostituting themselves in central Auckland, and a similar investigation in South Auckland in 2008 found 16 teenagers aged between 13 and 16 prostituting themselves on the streets of South Auckland,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“With the mounting evidence of brothels operating in residential areas and opposite schools and playcentres, the association of brothels and prostitutes with drugs, alcohol, and gangs, the acknowledgement that trafficking of women is highly likely, and the admission of increased teenage prostitution, the NZ government cannot continue to bury its head in the sand on this issue.”
“The best way to protect all prostitutes is to prosecute the buyer, as evidenced by Sweden and the trend in Europe which has resulted in a dramatic decrease in the number of prostitutes. This is the right call being now made by Australian child advocate.”
“It is disappointing that the New Zealand Families and Children’s Commissioners have been missing in action on this issue,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“Prostitution is harmful to workers and communities and the association of prostitution with gang and criminal behaviour, alcohol and drug abuse, and sexual abuse and violence means that we are sentencing more and more vulnerable people and children to an unacceptable situation.”