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March 26, 2018 | by  | in Politics |
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The Party Line

Prostitution was decriminalised in New Zealand in 2003. Former Labour MP Georgina Beyer, one of the original proponents of the Prostitution Reform Act 2003, said recently that the law around sex work is worth reviewing a decade later. Do you think current legislation has been effective in reducing harm for sex workers? Would you support further reform to the 2003 Act?

Young Greens

I think it’s up to sex workers to decide whether or not the current legislation is effective, and whether it needs to be reformed further. I would support the government beginning a consultative process to look at the legislation, and involving organisations such as the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective.

The 2003 legislation is something the Green Party supports, and we support the rights and safe working conditions of sex workers.

-Max Tweedie

VicNats

The Young Nats have always wanted people to work in a safe environment, whatever that work may be. This is why we supported the National Government’s policy to make the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 apply to the sex industry. This gave added protection to people working in the sex industry and made their employers personally liable. Further to this reform, the Young Nats are open to further discussion and justified improvements on the current legislation.

-Grahame Woods

ACT on Campus

Young Act supports the 2003 legislation and believes that people should have the freedom to work in that industry if they so choose. The 2003 legislation has made sex work safer and since decriminalization it makes sex workers more comfortable reporting assaults ect. However with human trafficking becoming an increased threat we should look into what protections can be made to ensure that sex workers are in the industry by choice and can be kept safe. Possible reforms to the 2003 legislation could include protections for digital sex workers ensuring that they are protected in the same way traditional sex workers are.

-James Allan

VicLabour

VicLabour fully supports the courageous actions of Geogina Beyer – and for those that voted to pass the Prostitution Reform Act in 2003. As a society, we need to get better at respecting those within the occupation of sex work, which doesn’t require only legal change, but moral change too. Governments need to provide additional funding to the Ministry of Health to enable medical professionals to carry out regular inspections of brothels. Speaking with friends in the sex industry leading up to this question – those that said they had been in the profession before the law change in 2003, currently found it a lot safer in terms of being able to refuse services more freely, work on their own terms and in their preferred settings. It is important to note however, as not being involved in the sex work industry, we are not qualified to evaluate the conditions of sex workers. We are unable to be the voice of sex workers. However, we can work alongside those in the industry to create a more positive attitude amongst the public and to ensure that laws uphold the rights of the individuals involved.

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