Concerns human trafficking is rife in New Zealand

There are widespread concerns human trafficking is rife in the restaurant and sex worker industries.
There are widespread concerns human trafficking is rife in the restaurant and sex worker industries. Photo credit: Getty

 

The restaurant and sex worker industries are both under investigation for human trafficking, amid concerns it is rife in both sectors. 

The Restaurant Association (RA) has launched a survey to uncover the extent of exploitation in the industry. 

This survey will attempt to uncover how many workers are being underpaid. The RA is also planning to start up an accreditation system that trains restaurant owners to be good employers. 

This comes at the same time Immigration New Zealand is launching an investigation into exploitation in the sex industry. 

Immigration Minister Ian Lees-Galloway told NZME the inquiry was underway, as well as a new plan to prevent trafficking. 

"Modern slavery is hidden in plain sight," Mr Lees-Galloway told NZME.

"Individuals with information may be apprehensive about contacting authorities for assistance, for example due to fear of reprisals. Although it is very difficult to detect these crimes, we know it is happening."

New Zealand is being marketed on chat groups such as WeChat as a good place for sex workers, because prostitution is legal and it is generally seen as a safe country. 

One sex worker told NZME there were claims sex workers could earn up to $100,000 in three months. 

However potential sex workers were not told they couldn't work in the industry on temporary visas such as visitor or student visas.    

A report being launched on Tuesday by the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women has first-hand stories of exploitation and abuse of migrant sex workers in New Zealand, NZME reports. 

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