Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Selling sex - legally

From BBC News:
"In terms of attitudes towards prostitution, New Zealand and Europe are almost as diametrically opposed as they are in geography. Kiwis have opted for wholesale liberalisation of the sex trade, while Europeans are increasingly restricting it.

Does the New Zealand liberal approach provide a model or a warning? Henri Astier looks at its prostitution industry six years after decriminalisation, in the first of two articles.

Since the Prostitution Reform Act of 2003, brothels have been allowed to operate more or less freely. Sex workers have the same rights as everyone else. In the eyes of New Zealand's law, the oldest profession is just like any other.

This policy stands in marked contrast to Europe. In 1999 Sweden criminalised the purchase of sex services, and several countries are introducing similar laws in an attempt to combat trafficking.

According to Catherine Healy of the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective (NZPC), better and safer working practices are now the norm.

Across the industry, she says, women are now aware of their rights and exploitative brothel owners are becoming marginalised as a result of the reform."

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