January 20, 2012 in General
Despite having struck out twice before in attempts to turn back the clock and recriminalise street sex work, the Auckland and Christchurch City Councils are trying to reintroduce an anti-soliciting bill that has failed twice before
In Auckland, Papatoetoe residents have repeatedly attacked the provisions of the Prostitution Law Reform Act that decriminalised street sex work, complaining of seeing them perform their services in broad daylight, of having to clean up excrement and used condoms and deal with¬†disorder issues.
Otara-Papatoetoe local board chairman John McCracken likes what has been happening down in Christchurch, where fourteen arrests occurred for public nuisance offences. He defined these as local issues and noted that they weren’t apparently solely restricted to his council ward.
The Manukau City Council’s Regulation of Prostitution in Specified Places Bill¬†is still¬†before a select committee and submissions close at the end of February, so¬†the board is trying to drum up support to make the bill across a national context. He has made common cause with Christchurch City Council’s stance:
”Christchurch City Council has been asking for somebody to visit to explain Papatoetoe’s position to explain the problems they have with street sex, compare the issues that they’re each finding and to talk about the amendments and how they can help both communities,” McCracken said in Stuff.co.nz. They may make a joint submission to the select committee. They don’t want a wholesale reversal of the Prostitution Law Reform Act, only something similar to red light zones in some overseas jurisdictions, similar to alcohol free zones. McCracken denies that this is an orchestrated religious social conservative vendetta, although it should be noted that the Christian Right pressure group Family First supports his initiative.They are trying to find an MP to sponsor this latest anti-sexworker initiative.
The¬† Prostitutes’ Collective and¬† supporters oppose the bill, saying that marginalised street sex workers, and that any problems can be dealt with through public nuisance legislation without the need to recriminalise street soliciting.
In Challenge Weekly (March 5, 2012), there were cracks emerging on the prohibitionist side. ECPAT, a child sexual abuse prevention charity, parted company with Family First and Kapiti Coast’s SPCS over the latter’s attack on street sex work and brothel zoning. Ross Bell (ECPAT’s Director) said the proposed reform would only shift soliciting to other streets- although problematically, Bell supports the Swedish proposal to ban client purchase of sex worker services.
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