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New Zealand sex workers are already feeling the impact of an online sex work forum being shut down. It is also widely known for listing adult escorts and other sexual services. While the notice doesn't detail the nature of the enforcement action, the website has frequently been accused of facilitating sex trafficking.
According to CBS News , the shutdown is related to an indictment against seven people allegedly involved in trafficking 17 victims, both adults and children. Many sex workers have spoken out against the shutdown, saying it will make the industry more dangerous for those who rely on these forums for support and safety. It was Backpage which actually allowed me to escape that sort of niche and enter the industry proper, and from there I was able to choose my clients and have more agency.
She said Backpage was used quite widely in New Zealand by those who couldn't afford to list ads on escort directory New Zealand Girls. No paperwork, no credit card trail, and each ad is temporary and easily edited and deleted. Especially in small-town New Zealand, there are not many other options that don't involve ringing the newspaper.
She says she'd like to see better working conditions for sex workers in New Zealand, including unions and more funding to New Zealand Prostitutes Collective.
IRD's taken a really good first step in having resources specifically available for sex workers who need to know how to pay their taxes - but it says a lot that that's the government agency most interested in us, don't you think? I'd like to see guides to our employment rights. New Zealand Prostitutes' Collective spokesperson Catherine Healty says sex workers across New Zealand are finding the shutdown difficult. We immediately started to hear that they needed somewhere alternative to advertise that is as cost-friendly.