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Pop CultureAugust 11, 2020

Alice Snedden’s Bad News: Why is sex work still only legal for some?


The first episode of the all new Alice Snedden’s Bad News asks why migrant sex workers aren’t legally allowed to operate in New Zealand.

Sex work was decriminalised in New Zealand in 2003, but not for everyone – it remains one of the only jobs migrants aren’t allowed to do. But is the law successfully holding back a tidal wave of sex trafficking, or is it a discriminatory measure that’s causing more harm than good to the migrant community?

To get to the bottom of the issue, Alice talks to a migrant sex worker who wants to be able to work here with the full protection of the law, gets an eye-opening tour of Wellington’s Funhouse brothel from owner Madam Mary, sits down for a chat with Dame Catherine Healy from the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective and asks Iain Lees-Galloway, the immigration minister at the time, if he thinks the current legislation is working.

Commissioned by RNZ and made possible by the RNZ/NZ On Air Innovation Fund.

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