Ex-prostitutes call for law change

Stuff.co.nz 22 November 2013
Former prostitutes and their advocates are calling for clients of sex workers to be prosecuted, saying the decriminalisation of the industry has failed them.

Freedom from Sexual Exploitation director Elizabeth Subritzky told Parliament’s justice and electoral committee the only solution to the damage that prostitution caused, and the violence it created, was to prosecute buyers of sexual services through a reform of prostitution laws.

The Prostitution Reform Act decriminalised brothels, escort agencies, and soliciting when it narrowly passed into law by one vote in 2003.

The act not only encouraged more men to buy sex, but transformed prostitution into an acceptable, even attractive job for young, poor women in New Zealand, Subritzky said.

The petition, with 2910 signatures, calls for a law change which will make the purchase of sexual services illegal, extending the existing law which enables clients of underage prostitutes to be prosecuted.