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The Impact of Decriminalisation on the Number of Sex Workers in New Zealand

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 July 2009

GILLIAN M. ABEL
Affiliation:
Department Public Health and General Practice, University of Otago, Christchurch, PO Box 4345, Christchurch, New Zealand email: gillian.abel@otago.ac.nz
LISA J. FITZGERALD
Affiliation:
School of Population Health, University of Queensland, Herston Road, Herston, Brisbane, QLD 4006, Australia
CHERYL BRUNTON
Affiliation:
Department Public Health and General Practice, University of Otago, Christchurch, PO Box 4345, Christchurch, New Zealand
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

In 2003, New Zealand decriminalised sex work through the enactment of the Prostitution Reform Act. Many opponents to this legislation predicted that there would be increasing numbers of people entering sex work, especially in the street-based sector. The debates within the New Zealand media following the legislation were predominantly moralistic and there were calls for the recriminalisation of the street-based sector. This study estimated the number of sex workers post-decriminalisation in five locations in New Zealand: the three main cities in which sex work takes place as well as two smaller cities. These estimations were compared to existing estimations prior to and at the time of decriminalisation. The research suggests that the Prostitution Reform Act has had little impact on the number of people working in the sex industry.

Type
Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009

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