Delivering decriminalisation of sex work. for the Desiree Alliance Conference, “Working sex: Power, Practice and Politics” Las Vegas Tim Barnett July 2010. Covering. The New Zealand story and results Relevance to the situation in the USA
for the Desiree Alliance Conference,
“Working sex: Power, Practice and Politics”
17% Maori (indigenous population),
8% Asian, 5% Pacific Island
...creating a situation in which consensual sexual contact in private between adults (aged 18 and over) is legal.
(and if the sex worker is under 18, it is the client who is breaking the law).
Great parallels with the old laws on people with disabilities and access to sexual relationships, on cross-racial marriage and current laws on same-sex relationships
police-sex worker relationships
need for education
use of legal routes
NZ Immigration Service reported no cases of trafficking
See NZ Ministry of Justice website
Making the links and learning the lessons – the ten key, transferable things which made the campaign for sex work decriminalisation succeed in New Zealand
Resource, information, skills needs
Focus on local, state and federal?
(opposed by :
many religious groups
some former sex workers
public health, especially HIV
From more than one political party
With a real understanding of the issue
Protected from being accused of an “ulterior motive”
With a reason to be championing the law
Backed up by a database of the politicians who have the votes
Focus on the spectrums of:
law-policy-programme, and campaigning-advocacy-lobbying
Stage-by-stage may be the only way
An initial inquiry could help; or a referendum
In some states legal challenges will be vital (right to privacy is crucial)
Need to plan for the election cycle/s
Sex work decriminalisation is budget-neutral or even budget-positive – crucial point
An event (sorry to say, quite possibly a tragedy) may open up the moment for action. Need to be ready for that.
The justification, and
Sex worker leadership and advocacy-focussed agencies
Building the case
Creating the catalyst
and it can be done!
GO FOR IT!