Moral Panics

Fear of perverts in aircraft


Moral Panics Index


Perverts in Aircraft

News Reports 1 : Nov 29-30 2005

Newstalk ZB
November 29 2005

Airline Bars Men From Lone Children

The Children's Commissioner has come out in support of Qantas banning men from sitting next to unaccompanied children on flights.

There has been widespread condemnation of the policy which was revealed when an Auckland man was asked to move away from a young boy.

However Children's Commissioner Cindy Kiro says children's safety is paramount and she commends the airline for putting thought into how it can keep children safe.

Ms Kiro says children travelling unaccompanied are part of everyday life and all we can do is keep them as safe as possible. She insists that children's safety is the main priority.

The Greens' Human Rights spokesman Keith Locke wants the Human Rights Commission to intervene to bring both Air New Zealand and Qantas into line. He says the airlines' ban on men sitting next to unaccompanied children is clearly a breach of the Human Rights Act which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.

Mr Locke says the moral panic about men being a potential threat to children has already had negative effects, particularly in childcare and pre-school education.

He says men are people too and the airlines should be more down to earth. He says airlines are reinforcing prejudice by refusing to allow men to sit next to unaccompanied children.

Mr Locke has written to the Human Rights Commission asking it to intervene, and has also written to Air New Zealand and Qantas explaining that the airlines have no ethical or legal grounds for the policy.

Qantas refuses to comment on why men are singled out, saying the policy was introduced in reaction to what parents want.