I've been meaning to blog about the article in the Press regarding the increase in the number of sex workers but I've been busy reading the reports the article referred to.
According to the Christchurch Press the number of sex workers has risen since the passage of the Prostitution Law Reform Act, as if the Act had letd to the increase.
The Prostitution Law Review Committee's benchmark report on the state of the sex industry in New Zealand…. estimated there were 5932 sex workers operating in New Zealand in April last year, 10 months after the act was passed – up nearly 40 per cent from the 4272 identified in a 2001 police survey
The report said nothing of the sort.
The research was aimed at assessing the size of the sex industry "as soon as practicable after the commencement of the Prostitution Law Reform Act". The Act was passed 28 June 2003, and the survey was undertaken from October 2003- April 2004. Police surveyed were asked to give a picture of the sex industry as close as possible to June 2003. Not April 2004, the last month of the survey.
The report also noted that the findings "cannot be taken to be an accurate assessment of the sex industry in New Zelaand". In other words, it is an indication of the approximate numbers of sex workers and premises as at June 2003.
Prostitution may well have increased between 2001 and the passageof the Prostitution Law Reform Act, but the findings of the reports cannot be taken to conclude that there is an increase of sex workers since the Prostitution Act was passed, or even that the Act was a relevant factor in any increase, as (a) the Act had just passed, and (b) the 2001 survey was not a nationwide survey.
United Future's Gordon Copeland said he was not surprised at the "explosive growth" in the number of brothels from 6 in 2001 to 93 in April 2004.
Except it wasn’t April 2004. And the figures referred to are rap/escort parlours. The report suggests that the increase in the figures are as a result of some escort agencies being included in the rap/escort figures in 2003, so apples are not being compared with apples.
That still doesn’t explain how the Prostitution Act has led to a larger sex industry.
The Maxim Institute also weighed in:
The Prostitution Law Review Committee has released figures which show that ten months after the Prostitution Reform Act was passed there were an estimated 6000 ‘sex workers’ operating in New Zealand - an increase of almost 40 percent from the numbers identified in a police survey in 2001
Nobody has noted that 182 sex workers under 18 were identified in the survey, compared with 195 in a 2001 survey ( Sapphira). Nor did they ncomment that between 25 to 60 percent of prostitutes in the various areas do not have residency. I bet most don’t have work permits either. Isn't that an issue?
Surely if prostitution is treated just like any other business these immigrants would legally need a work permit/visa to get a job in a parlour.