NZ Govt plays down US trafficking report
Wed, 20 Jun 2012 6:24p.m.
By Michael Morrah
The US state department has labelled New Zealand a source country for underage sex slavery and a destination for forced labour.
In its annual trafficking report, the State Department says laws should be updated and more effort made to prosecute offenders.
Just last weekend 3 News was with police filming underage girls working on the street, but there are plenty of issues according the report.
It says some Maori and Pacific Island girls are victims of gang-controlled trafficking rings.
“I think labelling this for what it is – slavery – has brought it to another dimension,” says US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.
The report’s findings have appalled New Zealand First leader, Winston Peters.
“It’s a disgrace and it’s a crime and it’s coming from the United States, and it doesn’t reflect well on this country,” he says.
“We’ve got an underage sex Mecca going on according to this report.”
The report states that "New Zealand does not have a comprehensive anti-trafficking law."
But the Government is playing the issue down.
“We line up with countries like Australia, Canada, and the US,” says Immigration Minister Nathan Guy.
“The overall tone of the report I thought was pretty good.”
The abuse and underpayment of crew on Korean fishing vessels was also highlighted in the report. Authorities here have charged officers for fish dumping, but they didn't lay charges over allegations of forced labour.
A University of Auckland researcher who investigated that problem says it's not good enough.
“It is frustrating that the New Zealand Government hasn’t yet instigated any prosecutions,” says Dr Christina Stringer of Stop the Traffic Aotearoa.
The US State Department says 27 million people around the world are victims of modern slavery.
And although the Government here says the current trafficking laws are tough, the US does not agree and will be closely monitoring just how affective those laws are over the coming year.
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21/06/2012 12:15:42 a.m.
The NO Project wrote:
Human Trafficking is a business. Simple as that. No Demand = No (need for) supply. The TIP report is not about blame, religous belief or politics. Commercial sexual exploitation/pornography with minors is everywhere - see PLAYGROUND the movie for an understanding the States. Given the scale/limited geography/popn size of NZ we should be committed to prevention, protection and prosecution. Not rocket science. But requires realism, funding and political will. Plus a lot more. People around human trafficking on a daily basis are not interested in who said and what and why. Other more immediate concerns to address - like a hurting victim of the crime.
20/06/2012 8:30:42 p.m.
Oh dear we've done something bible-belt America doesn't like and here's the payback. Yes we legalized prostitution. America is trying to justify keeping it illegal there by calling us a den of iniquity. Of course they have to say it hasn't worked here and so should never happen in the States. That's really what this is all about.
20/06/2012 7:50:23 p.m.
Floral Paisley wrote:
It is very sad but not unexpected that the NZ govt is down playing the extreme child abuse of sex trafficking. Several govt departments do condone , enable and encourage this disgusting trade to flourish. CYF and the Police are notified frequently of children forced into this trade by carers and of spots where trade is plied. They are supplied with regos, addresses and names of the offenders on both sides of the crimes. It is not OK for people who force children into prostitution to be repeatedly given victims by CYF . It is not OK for the pedophiles who "own" or "buy" these children to be overlooked by the police and family court.
20/06/2012 7:38:51 p.m.
robin gold wrote:
We have a spin Dr as a prime Minister in N>Z> so dont expect any common sense
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