NZ criticised for sex-trafficking and slavery – National – NZ Herald News

NZ criticised for sex-trafficking and slavery – National – NZ Herald News.

“New Zealand has been named as a “source country” for sex trafficking of underage girls and a destination country for forced labour in a sharply critical report released by the US State Department.”

 I believe that this is something that has been known by anti-trafficking activists in New Zealand for some time now, and it is a good thing that this report has come to light. It means that the official position of the government – that trafficking does not exist in New Zealand is no longer tenable. Trafficking is a global problem that is at least in part driven by the capitalist engine which encourages us to see people as dollar signs.  It is characterized by forced labour (sexual or otherwise) for little or no pay, making it a modern form of slavery.  It is hard to overestimate the vast human cost of trafficking of all kinds. By ignoring it and pretending that it does not exist on our shores, we simply help to perpetuate this gross abuse.

While Trafficking for sex work is not the only kind of trafficking, it is the type of trafficking that is perhaps spoken of most. This is probably because salacious stories of sexual slavery sell news papers and titillate peoples imagination, unfortunately while many people have a sense of horror around trafficking, this does not turn into action. The general picture people have in their heads – vulnerable foreign women duped into being trafficked as sex workers is only one part of the story. Often left out of the equation is domestic trafficking, something that happens far more often in our own backyard than people want to believe.  Runaways and homeless youth are particularly at risk of domestic trafficking.

It is important to remember that  not everyone who participates in sex work is trafficked, and I don’t believe perceiving sex work in this way is helpful in stamping out genuine cases of trafficking.  There are people who choose sex work and it is a reasonable choice.  In many feminist/womanist spaces women who choose sex work are treated as though they don’t exist because they do not fit into the tragic victim model of sex workers. Erasing the experiences of a group serves to compound their oppression. At the end of the day any policy that effects sex workers has to take into account the views of *all* sex workers.  This means making an effort to negotiate and understand who has power and privilege amongst  sex workers. Consultation is not meaningful if it only takes into account the views of brothel owners who have very different concerns from regular sex workers.

As a comparatively progressive nation it is easy to think that we are doing everything right. Sex work is legal in New Zealand, which in my opinion is a good thing. Part of the point of making sex work legal is being able to enforce good labour practices, but this needs to actually be done.  Legalisation on its own is not a magic solution that prevents exploitative practices within the industry, it is simply a tool and just like any other tool,  it is only as good as the hand that wields it.  We have an opportunity to develop nuanced and responsive policy around sex work and exploitation in New Zealand. It is important that we do not let it slip through our fingers.

3 thoughts on “NZ criticised for sex-trafficking and slavery – National – NZ Herald News

  1. Sex Trafficking Sex Slavery is used by many groups as a attempt to outlaw all prostitution around the world by saying that all women are victims even if they do it willing. This hurts any real victims because it labels all sex workers as victims.

    This is done by the media, aid groups, NGO’s, feminists, politicians, and religious organizations that receive funds from the government. There are very strong groups who promote that all adult women who have sex are victims even if they are willing, enjoy it and go out of there way to get it. These groups try to get the public to believe that no adult women in their right mind would ever go into the sex business unless she was forced to do so, weather she knew it or not. They say that 100% of all sex workers are trafficking victims.

    They do this in order to label all men as sex offenders and wipe out all consensual prostitution. Which is what their real goal is. There is almost no one who challenges or questions them about their false beliefs. Therefore, the only voices you hear are of these extreme groups. These groups want to label all men as terrible sex offenders for seeing a willing adult woman. No one stands up to say this is foolish, the passive public says nothing.

    These groups even say that all men who marry foreign women are terrible sex predators who take advantage of these “helpless foreign women wives”.

    These groups believe that two adults having consensual sex in private should be outlawed. Since they believe that it is impossible for a man to have sex with a woman without abusing the woman in the process.

    I would like to see a news organization do a full report on the lies, myths and exaggerated numbers being told about sex trafficking slaves. The articles about the super bowl sex slaves prostitutes, has been proved wrong many times, but news organizations still report about it, as if it were fact.

    A key point is that on the sidelines the prostitutes themselves are not being listened to. They oppose laws against prostitution. But no one wants to listen to the prostitutes themselves. Only to the self appointed experts that make up numbers and stories many of which have never met a real forced sex slave or if they did it was only a few. The media and government never ask the prostitutes themselves what would help them in terms of laws.

    Many women in the sex business are independent workers. They don’t have a pimp.
    They work for themselves, advertise themselves, and keep all the money for themselves. No one forces them, because there isn’t anyone to force them. They go out and find their own customers, set their own prices, and arrange everything by themselves. Sometimes they may employ others to help them, but these are not pimps. If for example, she hires an internet web design company to make a website for her, does that make the web design company a pimp? If she pays a phone company for a phone to do business, does this make the phone company a pimp? If she puts an ad in the paper, does this make the editor a pimp? If she puts the money she makes into a bank account does this make the bank a pimp?

    A lot of anti prostitution groups would say yes. Everyone and everybody is a pimp.
    These groups make up lies, and false statistics that no one bothers to check. A big reason they do this is because it provides high paying jobs for them. They get big donations, and grants from the government, charity, churches, etc. to have these groups, and pay these high salaries of the anti prostitution workers.

    There is a lot of controversy over the numbers of adult woman who are forced sex slaves. The real factual answer is that no one knows. There is hard evidence that the sex slavery/sex trafficking issue continues to report false information and is greatly exaggerated by politicians, the media, and aid groups, feminist and religious organizations that receive funds from the government, The estimate of adult women who become new sex slaves ranges anywhere from 40 million a year to 5,000 per year all of which appear to be much too high. They have no evidence to back up these numbers, and no one questions them about it. Their sources have no sources, and are made up numbers. In fact if some of these numbers are to believed which have either not changed or have been increased each year for the past twenty years, all woman on earth would currently be sex slaves. Yet, very few real forced against their will sex slaves have been found.

    Sex trafficking is illegal and the pentities are very severe. It is very difficult to force someone to be a sex slave, they would have to have 24 hour guards posted and be watched 365 days a year, 24 hours per day. Have the threat of violence if they refused, and have no one notice and complain to the authorities or police. They would need to hide from the general public yet still manage to see customers from the general public and not have the customers turn the traffickers in to the police. They would need to provide them with medical care, food, shelter, and have all their basic needs met. They would need to have the sex slaves put on a fake front that they enjoyed what they were doing, act flirtatious and do their job well. They would have to deal with the authorities looking for the missing women, and hide any money they may make, since it comes from illegal activity. They must do all of this while constantly trying to prevent the sex slaves from escaping and reporting them to the police. They would need to prevent the general public from reporting them into the police. This is extremely difficult to do, which makes this activity rare. These criminals would be breaking dozens of major laws not just one. Kidnapping itself is a serious crime. There are many laws against sex trafficking, sex slavery, kidnapping, sex abuse, rape, sexual harassment etc. If someone is behind it, they will be breaking many serious laws, be in big trouble, and will go to jail for many long years. And do you actually think that there is a long line of people who want to have a career as a sex slave kidnapping pimp?

    Here are some good websites about sex trafficking:

    • Numbers are not exagerated. You have no idea how acute this problem is. I understand that NZ has less crime than others, however, that does not mean that things happen here. Open your eyes, you have no idea what you are talking about. People do not realize this, unless some family member or friend is caught up in this kind of problem. Search the net for Amy Lynn Bradley; the Bradley family were not aware of this problem till it happened to them. NZ has low criminality, however, is no exception in this world.

  2. hank you for your input. I think your point of view is a little extreme, and underestimates the amount of money that is in trafficking. I do not believe that all sex workers are trafficked which is quite obvious if you actually read my post, but claiming that trafficking does not exist is equally as damaging as the former position. In New Zealand policy has been heavily influenced by sex workers themselves.

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