Media Release 7 April 2016
Family First NZ is welcoming France’s decision overnight to pass a prostitution law which criminalises customers rather than prostitutes, and says that New Zealand should follow the lead and adopt similar legislation.
“The French decision is the correct one and sets an important example and precedent for New Zealand. It follows on from other countries such as Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Northern Ireland and Canada. It was completely wrong for the New Zealand Parliament to legitimise the exploitation of women who are so vulnerable. True equality can’t exist where men can exploit women and sometimes other men through prostitution,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“For a woman to sell her body she has to be in desperate circumstances and therefore the sale is not really a genuine choice. In effect, the decriminalisation of prostitution in New Zealand should have been labelled as the ‘Pimp Protection Legislation’.”
“The fallout from the naïve decriminalisation of prostitution has affected both residential areas and family shopping areas and the local councils have been powerless to act. It has been a community disaster harming families, businesses, and the welfare of workers caught in the industry. Communities throughout NZ have been trying to deal with the ‘hospital pass’ given by the politicians when they passed this law. It’s time they now fixed the law.”
In 2014, the European parliament passed a resolution to back the ‘Nordic model’ of prostitution which legalises the selling of sex but criminalises buying it. The London MEP and Labour spokeswoman for women in Europe, Mary Honeyball, who put forward the resolution said
“This punishes men who treat women’s bodies as a commodity, without criminalising women who are driven into sex work. The idea that prostitution is the oldest profession leads some to think we should accept it as a fact of life, that all we can do is regulate it a little better. This course of action leads to an increase in prostitution levels, normalising the purchase of sex and ingraining the inequalities which sustain the sex industry.”