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Annah Pickering(March 2011)

In this podcast Annah Pickering from New Zealand talks about attending the human rights conference.

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This summary describes an interview recorded on March 17, 2011, with Annah Pickering from the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective Auckland Branch. The interview, conducted by Gareth Watkins, took place in Wellington Town Hall, New Zealand, and lasted for approximately nine minutes. The focus of the discussion is on a human rights conference attended by Pickering, where the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective presented a workshop concerning the decriminalisation and law reform around sex workers' rights, health, and safety.

During the workshop, representatives from New Zealand, Malaysia, and Fiji discussed the status of sex workers in their respective countries, highlighting the variations in laws and human rights issues each country faces. For instance, while New Zealand is commended for having one of the best models globally for decriminalizing sex work, Fiji and Malaysia still criminalize it, leading to problems such as violence, police entrapment, and violations of sex workers' rights. The panel's experiences stimulated conversations about potential reform in other countries by looking at successful global models like New Zealand's.

New Zealand's sex work decriminalisation has led to significant positive changes within the industry. Sex workers are not regarded as criminals, they do not face the issue of police register books, and they can report incidences of violence. Moreover, the use of condoms and lubrication, which were historically leveraged as evidence against sex workers, is no longer an issue, ensuring their health and safety practices are protected under the law.

However, Pickering emphasizes concerns about attempts to recriminalize, especially affecting street-based and transgender sex workers who are most vulnerable. The discussion also covered broader issues regarding human rights advocacy, education, and policy work. The speakers at the conference, including Grace from Malaysia, Marilyn Waring, and Carl Polo in, are noted for their memorable presentations and inspiration they provided.

Pickering also brings attention to the need for broader representation and discussion in the conference, particularly regarding Pacific Island women and lesbian issues, as well as the oppression faced by sex workers from these regions. The importance of building networks, staying informed on global developments, and actively engaging with political and social groups is highlighted.

The significance of these human rights conferences is framed within the context of New Zealand’s progressive stands on sex work and homosexuality, contrasting with the struggles of developing countries. The takeaway is not to take these rights for granted, but rather to actively support and expand them.

In reflection, Pickering voices concern over the current leadership potentially not prioritizing human rights, which could lead to a regression of progress. For future listeners, 30 years from now, Pickering hopes that the progress made will still be appreciated and that people will be aware of the history and the continuous need to be informed and involved in advocating for and supporting human rights globally.

This summary is created using Generative AI. Although it is based on the recording's transcription, it may contain errors or omissions. Click here to learn more about how this summary was created.

Record date:17th March 2011
Interviewer:Gareth Watkins
Location:Wellington Town Hall, Wellington
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Archive:The master recording is archived at the Alexander Turnbull Library (OHDL-004141).