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Taking the crime out of sex workNew Zealand sex workers' fight for decriminalisation$
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Gillian Abel, Lisa Fitzgerald, and Catherine Healy

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781847423344

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847423344.001.0001

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(p.259) fifteen Conclusion
Taking the crime out of sex work

Gillian Abel

Lisa Fitzgerald

Policy Press

The New Zealand Prostitutes's Collective (NZPC) has played an important role in providing support for sex workers. Through it, the Prostitution Reform Act (PRA) was achieved. The Collective also changed the public attitude towards sex work by making them understand the industry from the prespective of those who have experienced it rather than from that of the dominant public discourses. It encouraged people to come into their community in such way so as to illuminate the interweaving aspects of the sex industry and it has given a voice to the marginalised sex workers. This chapter concludes that while the general public has accepted the decriminalisation of prostitution, there are nevertheless issues that continue to arise from time to time. Such is the issue of street-based work that it still attracts media attention, specifically in Manakau. In Manakau, the City Council has time and again prohibited street-based work and introduced the Control of Street Prostitution Bill. However, this was considered as against the provisions of the PRA. Although the bill was turned down, it continues to resurface periodically. While the PRA awarded increased rights for sex workers, social stigmatisation has impeded the achievement of some of their rights. However, as the chapter concludes, if organisations such as the NZPC, youth organisations, religious leaders, police, court officials, sexual-health professional, territorial authorities, media, and others will give credence to the purposes of the PRA, this may have a positive impact on the ability of sex workers to achieve their rights. The chapter also concludes that through the collective effort of all the organisations and social actors, stigmatisation of sex workers will be significantly reduced and an improvement in their health and safety will be within reach.

Keywords:   NZPC, sex workers, sex work, sex industry, prostitution, Prostitution Reform Act, stigmatisation

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