Five weeks to put local pimps out of business!

Local campaigners welcome Government commitment on Sex Crime Bill

The commitment by the Government to publish new laws next month to combat the exploitation of women and girls in prostitution and human trafficking is a significant milestone in efforts to combat these crimes.

Campaigners say the expected publication of a new Sexual Offences Bill will be an opportunity to ‘wreck the business model’ for pimps and traffickers operating in Ireland, and is calling on all local TDs and Senators to support the proposals.

The Bill will include laws to target the buyers of sex whose actions are fuelling these crimes, such laws have already been successfully implemented in other countries and came into force in Northern Ireland on June 1st last.

A key moment has arrived for organisations like YWCA Ireland who have united under the banner of the Turn Off The Red Light Campaign in order to change the focus of the law from the seller of sex to the buyers, in other words, those whose actions have brought pimps and traffickers into our communities.

The campaign has united 73 Irish organisations with a combined membership of 1.6 million people. We have been joined by doctors, nurses, frontline emergency workers, trade unionists, employers, human rights campaigners, women’s and children’s rights groups and the most important voices of all – the survivors of prostitution.

We eagerly await the publication of the bill and in particular the provisions on purchasing sex. It is our firm hope that the Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald TD, will incorporate recommendations unanimously backed at the Oireachtas Justice Committee for laws focusing on buyers.

The bill is the culmination of an exhaustive review process during which all the complex issues involved were fully examined – more than 800 written submissions were studied and months of hearings were held in the Dáil.

Since then the list of countries implementing the laws continues to grow and Ireland has fallen behind – so the time to act has arrived.

We have been greatly encouraged by the level of local support and are now calling on politicians from all sides to unite and send out the message loud and clear that Ireland is no longer a soft target for pimps, traffickers and thugs.

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