Monday, August 09, 2004

Prostitutes and sex workers

A gay website has run the NZ Association of Rationalists and Humanists media release stating that the Prostitutes Collective gets a little over $52,000 per month (624,000 a year ) to run 6 offices around the country. They were having a go at the Maxim Institute who, said that the NZ Prostitutes Collective received
$1.8million of state funding every year
, or $150,000 a month.
So how did they get that information? Probably from a NZ First media release

This is up from $300,000 a year in 1996 and 1997 for four full time and seven part time workers.

The Rationalists also tried to have a dig at Maxim's 10 reasons why the Prostitution Reform Bill should not have been passed. One of Maxim ' claims was that "A Christchurch School of Medicine study found that nearly two-thirds of Christchurch street prostitutes were under the age of 18.".

"This is untrue." The Rationalists said, "The study found 12 prostitutes under the age of 18, out of 303 surveyed. Do the math."

But Maxim was discussing street workers. All the 303 surveyed in the 2001 study were not street workers. In fact 220 worked in massage parlours and a third said they begun sex work under the age of 18

"In a recent study of 303 prostitutes in the Christchurch area (Plumridge and Abel 2001), 31% said they had begun sex work under the age of 18 years. Since it is illegal for massage parlours to employ under-18-year-olds, this would suggest that about a third of the workers began sex work on the street.

This does not necessarily mean that the survey said that two thirds of prostitutes are under 18, it merely indicates that two thirds were under 18 when they started, and 12 surveyed at the time were under 18.

Still doesn’t explain why an earlier version of the Maxim fact sheet stating "A Christchurch School of Medicine study found two-thirds of Christchurch street prostitutes starting working under the age of 18." was "updated" to say that a third of street workers were under 18.

It also doesn’t explain how the NZPC 's funding rose from $300,000 a year to 1.8 million a year within five or six years (or to $600,000 depending on whom you believe).

I must have a chat to Catherine Healy sometime.

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