Vast Active Library and Information Science blog. From a recent library science graduate in Wellington, New Zealand. A focus on reference and current awareness tools and issues, especially free, web-based resources.

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Friday, June 27, 2003
(misc) New Zealand decriminalises prostitution  
Yesterday the NZ government voted, by the slimmest of margins, to decriminalise prostitution. The Bill passed by one vote, 60-59. There's a strong argument that this will increase the number of back street brothels, which is apparently what happened in Australia when they decriminalised. The Bill had support from the obvious quarters, and was opposed by the religious right, who insist that efforts should go into "rescuing" women from working as prostitutes (quite when and how they've made these efforts themselves isn't mentioned), and much of middle New Zealand.

And me? I'm pretty much in the school of thought that says, it's a fact of life and will happen anyway. The thing legislation can do is make it safer for the prostitutes, and hopefully get them better working conditions. Given that the Prostitutes Collective supported the Bill, and it was introduced by a former male prostitute (Georgina Beyer, the world's only transsexual member of parliament), I think its clear that those who understand the trade best are in favour of decriminalisation.


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