Laws needed to clean up underage prostitution

Dave Crampton – NZ Herald  3 April 2013
No doubt many people will be appalled when reading last week’s Herald story noting that underage girls in south Auckland are being pimped out by their parents and relatives to be sex workers.

One local church pastor – from the C3 church – has said that he and church members have offered support to these underage girls, one as young as 11. However, this pastor told me that he has not gone to the police to lay a complaint.

Police have publicly denied there is a problem with underage street prostitution in the area. Perhaps this is because nobody has laid a complaint with the police. Are C3 church people offering support to these kids by merely returning them to their pimps and parents instead of Police and CYF?

Bob McCoskrie of Family First calls our current prostitution laws shameful and is campaigning to curb this behaviour by passing laws to arrest clients of sex workers. In effect that is a campaign to criminalise something that is already a crime – in terms of addressing underage sex work. Adult sex with minors is illegal. So is pimping for sex. The Prostitution Reform Act, which decriminalised the sex industry, notes it is a criminal offence, with a prison term of up to seven years, to assist, facilitate, or encourage a person under 18 years of age to provide commercial sexual services.