New Zealand’s favorable legislation regarding sex work has been in place since 2003, and instead of crashing down the country that has built it— it’s making it better.
The world of sex work is indeed a global one. With the profession existing in every country in existence. The history of sex work goes back millennia, and it’s a profession that won’t be disappearing anytime soon. Auckland Escorts, however, could give us all the blueprints we so desperately need, in order to create a safe space for sex workers, their clientele, and the communities they service.
The Price of Stigma
For most detractors, sex work is considered an exceptionally dangerous and dirty business. Where even in modern society these people are treated differently than workers in other dangerous professions. However, sex workers haven’t always been regarded as distasteful or unwanted. Throughout history handmaidens, harems, and a number of other high-ranking sex work was promoted, well paid, and even respected. Which created a safer space for the work to occur. With current stigma however, these women (and to a lesser extent men, transgender, and non-binary people) are forced to live in the dark confines of a forgotten and largely ignored world. Denied basic rights and protections.
Because of this dehumanization, their lives somehow become devalued— as if they are worth less than any other person. Which in and of itself should be criminal. They are treated in horrific ways by clients, police and judiciary officials. They are trafficked and forced to perform acts against their will because there is no avenue for legal recompense. In fact— possibly the direst thing about sex work is how they are treated and viewed by the society that they exist within, not what they do to pay the bills.
Proof is in the Policy
In countries like New Zealand, where all forms of prostitution have been legalized, this favorable legislation has proven itself to be beneficial to more than just sex-workers, but women all over the world and local communities as well. Something that could be taken as a progressive example of how best to improve the interests of all involved. Sex work is a highly controversial trade to be sure, but one that has always been here, and probably always will be— so forcing it underground through the confines of illegality only serves to ignore issues and enable problematic sex trade.
Like so many other issues that plague our societies, it’s been shown time and time again that staunch regulation and realistic policy are better at curbing untoward appetites than flat out persecuting them. Another country that has showcased this effect beautifully is Portugal, where anti-drug laws work in near extreme opposition to those in other countries, favoring decriminalization over illegality. Which has served to crackdown on guerrilla drug trafficking and dangerous abuse. Regulation serves to bring other issues to light however, with some taking a narrower view of the benefits it can offer.
Like suggesting that heavily regulating sex work only serves to promote illegal sex trade victims, as opposed to the view that this brings renewed light to the plight of women who are being kidnapped and illegally transported to countries where they are then forced into sex labor practices. The American ACLU has stated that “Legal reform and enforcement of existing labor and employment protections would bolster current efforts to address trafficking”, suggesting that should sex workers have the same protections as other workers, forced labor would have the same penalties.
Sex Workers Are Workers— And Women
Of all the occupations that are fully legal and available to people around the world, sex work— when practiced safely and transparently— is one of the least dangerous of them. This is because protections could afford sex workers better healthcare and reporting services, amongst other assurities like financial security. Which could result in less risky practice for many. The benefits of legitimization also serve to span well past sex workers themselves, but would be extended to clientele as well. Particularly as safe practice and reporting laws could help prevent things like disease, abuse, and coercion.
A study performed by Auckland’s own Christchurch School of Medicine found that following legalization, Auckland escorts and prostitutes reported higher levels of happiness, security, and safety, following the favorable laws passed in 2003. Showing that sex work can be a legitimate way to earn an income, and one that doesn’t mean you have to do it yourself. Dehumanizing sex workers is a sincere issue. Largely because we begin to look at sex workers as their occupation and not as the people they are. Regardless of your position on the matter, most sex workers are women. Everyday women who are just earning an income in the way that they can.
But this dehumanization isn’t fully reserved for sex workers, but nearly any women within the sex industry. Society tends to unfairly stigmatize women in these roles, regardless of whether they are prostitutes or porn stars. Which is uncanny as sex is a fully natural thing, something that nearly everyone is having, or has had— whether they’ve paid for it or not.