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Sex worker numbers same as 2003

Making prostitution legal has had little effect of the number of people in the sex industry.
The Prostitution Law Review Committee review has also found the law has had a marked effect on safeguarding the right of workers to refuse clients, with a majority of workers now more likely to report incidents of violence to police.


The report has two sections: a survey of police staff providing estimates of numbers in the sex industry in 2008, and an audit by the New Zealand Prostitutes' Collective (NZPC) at the same time.
In a similar police survey from 2003 the number of prostitutes was out at just under 6,000, with about 200 of those under the age of 18.


The latest survey has police estimates have the number of sex workers in New Zealand at 5,932 and of those 44% are employed in massage parlours. The NZPC puts that figure at anywhere between 50-70%.


Both the police and the NZPC believe the smallest number of workers are on the streets, at 11% and 10% respectively.


The committee advised that the Prostitution Reform Act has not increased the number of underage people working in the sex industry and has in fact raised awareness of the problem.


Police reviews estimate that there are around 200 sex workers under the age of 18, but they believe 60% of them are working on the streets.


However, the NZPC did not consider there were significant numbers of under age sex workers in the industry. They believe that many young people on the streets have been identified as sex workers when they are not.


Prostitution was legalised in June 2003, and the Prostitution Law Review Committee was established as a requirement of the Prostitution Reform Act to assess and monitor the act.

Source: TVNZ.co.nz

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