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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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Lobbying for decriminalisation

Lobbying for decriminalisation

(p.57) four Lobbying for decriminalisation
Taking the crime out of sex work

Tim Barnett

Catherine Healy

Anna Reed

Calum Bennachie

Policy Press

The campaign for the reform of New Zealand's sex work laws took nearly two decades. Due to the increasing awareness of the injustices of the old laws, people who were to gain from the reform began networking to build the New Zealand Prostitutes's Collective (NZPC), which is a nationwide sex-worker organisation. Through the NZPC, sex workers began to build awareness and support for their cause, thus creating a space to look to the long term. This chapter traces the networking, conceptualisation, drafting, and campaign-building stages of the law reform. It also describes the process of further explanation of the law to the public and outlines the parliamentary process through which it passed. To understand the law reform on the decriminalisation of the sex industry, the chapter begins with the history of the political context operating in New Zealand at the time of the decriminalisation process. The parliamentary system operating in the country is believed to have had a great impact on the success of the Prostitution Reform Bill. The chapter concludes with some reflections on the campaign and its outcome from the perspective of Tim Barnett, a Member of the Parliament who sponsored and introduced the Bill in the parliament. It also considers the perspective of the members of the NZPC.

Keywords:   reform, sex work, NZPC, sex worker, conceptualisation, drafting, campaign building, law reform, decriminalisation, Prostitution Reform Bill

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