Family First is not surprised by the revelation that 16 teenagers aged between 13 and 16 have been prostituting themselves in South Auckland, but says that this is an expected outcome of a flawed Act.
“Politicians who voted for this ideologically flawed bill which decriminalised prostitution should hang their heads in shame, as they have normalized the behaviour among at-risk teenagers,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “That has been the effect of decriminalisation.”
“Along with an increase in street prostitution, brothels operating in residential areas, the association of brothels and prostitutes with drugs, alcohol, gangs, and used condoms littering the area, we now have increased teenage prostitution (involving girls reportedly as young as 11 in some areas), and worse still, a recent report of a parent making financial gain from ‘selling’ their daughter.”
“This is no different to the horrendous stories we hear of child prostitution and trafficking in Asian countries,” says Mr McCoskrie. “It is child abuse of the worst kind.”
“The best way to protect all prostitutes is to prosecute the buyer (as evidenced by the trend in Europe – including Sweden, Bulgaria, and Norway) which has resulted in a dramatic decrease in the number of prostitutes”
“And despite attempts by Manukau City Council to gain control over this type of behaviour, politicians continue to block attempts to support local communities. MP’s need a reality check on just how destructive this industry is.”
The Prostitution Law Review Committee’s report on the State of the Sex Industry in NZ, tabled in Parliament in 2005 found a 40% increase in sex workers since 2001, and a growing trend towards street prostitution (up from 3% in 2001 to 11% in 2004). The report also identified about 200 prostitutes under the age of 18.
“The decriminalisation of prostitution has failed prostitutes by encouraging them to think that prostitution can be safe – which it can never be. But now the law is also failing our communities and young people. We must change it before it is too late and our children become victims, similar to our teenagers.”