Friday, January 18, 2008

Prostitution - End criminalisation. Put safety first.

Just wanted to quickly plug the following meeting being put on by Ipswich & District Trades Union Council next week.

Say – Never Again
End criminalisation - put safety first

The trial concerning the five young prostitute women murdered at the end of 2006 is taking place at this moment in time. At the same time Clause 72 (now Clause 105) of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill (CJIB) is passing through Parliament, introducing compulsory rehabilitation for prostitute women under threat of imprisonment. The criminalisation of clients is also being discussed, supposedly to deal with trafficking.

Clause 72 is being promoted as an alternative to a fine but it is an additional power. It requires anyone arrested for loitering or soliciting to attend a series of three meetings with a supervisor approved by the court “to promote rehabilitation, by assisting the offender to address the causes of their involvement in prostitution and to find ways of ending that involvement.” Women will be humiliated by being asked to reveal intimate circumstances while no resources are being made available to “address the causes”. Failure to attend will result in a summons back to court and a possible 72-hours imprisonment. Women may end up on a treadmill of broken supervision meetings, court orders and imprisonment, on top of fines and prison sentences for non-payment of fines. Even the Magistrates Association has expressed concern. Are prostitute women ignorant victims, immoral criminals or workers who deserve respect?

In New Zealand they successfully introduced decriminalisation of prostitution in 2003. Do you want to learn more about what is happening in New Zealand? Come and hear Catherine Healy

Thursday 24 January 2008 @ 7.30 pm
The Council Chamber, Town Hall, Ipswich

Catherine was appointed by Minister of Justice to the New Zealand Prostitution Law Review Committee. She is a founding member and the national co-ordinator of the New Zealand Prostitutes' Collective. She frequently gives advice on issues affecting sex workers to national and international organisations. She was widely consulted for the publication of A Guide to Occupational Health and Safety in the New Zealand Sex Industry recommended by the Justice and Electoral Select Committee. She collaborated with researchers from Otago University, Christchurch, on major research into the effects of decriminalisation soon to be published. In 1993 she was awarded the New Zealand Suffrage Centennial Medal for her services to women.

Contact for more details.


Sue Luxton said...

pernickity point really, but it's not the five murdered women who are on trial, but the man accused of their murders.

Jim Jay said...

gah! that's what happens whern you use someone else's text - thanks sue I'll amend it

Dorothea said...

Thanks for the postings on this important subject.

What I find ludicrous, and frankly insulting to the intelligence, is the pontification I've heard on the radio from dippy femocrats, like those in the Labour Cabinet.

These puritanical, not to mention reality-challenged people seem to think that the selling of sex can be banned!

How tall their ivory towers are, is further demonstrated by their misguided belief that the only people who purchase sexual services are men, and that the only people they buy them from, are women. Duh.

Incidentally, is it not the case that the New Zealanders, having independent legislative faculties, unlike ourselves, have taken protective steps that we in Britain will be unable to take as part of the EU, such as restricting sex work to NZ nationals only?