Safety indoors

The legislative changes introduced in New Zealand de-criminalising adult prostitution have been a model for Canadian judges to do the same, with courts recently ruling Canada’s adult prostitution laws unconstitutional. Justice Susan Himel considered the experience of New Zealand and other jurisdictions that have liberalised their prostitution laws. Himel said evidence shows violence against prostitutes can be reduced when women can work indoors, near people who can intervene if necessary, and when they can screen clients and take their credit card numbers. Under the Prostitution Reform Act introduced by the New Zealand Government in 23, brothel operators who don’t promote safe sex face criminal charges. Prostitutes are also covered under occupational health and safety laws. “It’s been just fantastic, really,” said national coordinator for the New Zealand Prostitutes’ Collective Catherine Healey. Street prostitutes, who account for about 11 per cent of those in the industry, generally haven’t moved indoors, but prostitutes are now more likely to report violence. “They can pick up the phone and talk to police. That is enormously important,” Healey said.

Tags: Prostitution Reform Act  Star (The)