They think they can stop human trafficking – yeah right

According to the NZ Herald today

Immigration New Zealand is stepping up border security and brothel checks to clamp down on overseas prostitutes arriving to work illegally during the Rugby World Cup. “Extensive planning has taken place by all the border agencies to ensure that there are resources in place to allow the smooth movement of genuine travellers coming here for the Rugby World Cup,” said Steve Stuart, general manager intelligence, risk and integrity. “Major international sporting events are likely to increase demand for sex workers, and we are ready for that.” Yesterday, an Auckland brothel-keeper was convicted for attempting to smuggle a prostitute into the country. Gordon Dong was found guilty of aiding and abetting the unlawful entry of a person into New Zealand, and sentenced to 300 hours of community work. Dong had lied to an immigration officer last July saying the woman was here for a holiday, when she was going to work for him as a prostitute.

But they simply arrive either under student visas, OR under an arrangement admitted by a brothel owner

….One brothel owner says he has already been contacted by sex workers from Asia and even some from Germany wanting to work here during the six week competition period. “We don’t smuggle them into the country … these girls come on their own accord, willingly, and we just give them a place to do their work,” he said. Sex workers will be taken on as “tenants” rather than contractors or employees to ensure the brothel was not responsible for their immigration status, he said.

There has already been a number of acknowledgements that trafficking is happening under the radar (here, here and here)

No one has been prosecuted in New Zealand for human trafficking but critics say that is only because a difference in definition is allowing cases to slip under the radar. A recent example is the case of a Malaysian sex worker who needed police help to retrieve her passport from her brothel owner. Immigration New Zealand has ruled this does not constitute trafficking. …. No trafficking offenders have been prosecuted here, but anti-trafficking advocates said the country’s clean slate could be attributed to how New Zealand defines people-trafficking. Unlike the United States definition, which includes domestic cases as trafficking, New Zealand recognises only international border crossing cases.

The US have rightly been critical of our lack of inaction and weak sentences e.g. community work

A United States Government report on modern slavery has accused New Zealand of being a destination country for the trafficking of women from Malaysia, Hong Kong and China for sex. The US State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons makes grim reading on a global scale. New Zealand gets off relatively lightly. The report is critical of legalised prostitution and says sentences for those convicted of exploiting minors remain relatively light – including home detention in one case.