Alliance wants to meet with Gardaí to discuss the continued implementation of the more recent Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017, and ensure it is used in the way in which it was intended – to support those who are sexually exploited.
They may not look like victims of sex trafficking because they are not locked away, and they may be able to attend health checks or go to Western Union to wire some money home.
“We know that buyers don’t care about the welfare of the person they are seeking so-called ‘sexual services’ from, even when they are victims of trafficking. Paying for sex is not an expression of sexuality: it is primarily the assertion of male dominance over women.”
“Despite the formal abolition of the slave trade, the exploitation of some human beings by others has not ended and now takes place in terrible new forms on a significantly large scale.”
“We are deeply disappointed that no convictions against sex buyers have been secured under this legislation to date. The law cannot therefore be said to have been fully implemented” – Sarah Benson, CEO, Ruhama.
“It is now illegal to purchase sex in this country and the penalties for organising and profiting from prostitution have been increased. More needs to be done to ensure that these laws are properly enforced.”
“There needs to be a consistent approach that supports those in prostitution and where we see pimps and other exploiters being prosecuted, not the women,” Ruhama said.
301 women were assisted by the NGO according to the 2015 Annual Report including 94 victims of sex trafficking, an increase of six over the previous year (88 in 2014).
Ruhama is urging the next government to make the Sexual Offences Bill an absolute priority and place it at the top of their agenda as soon as they come to power.
Sexual Offences Bill will be an opportunity to “wreck the business model” for pimps and traffickers and ensure that Ireland is no longer a safe haven for such crimes.
“In recent days the large scale loss of life in the Mediterranean Sea has once again highlighted human trafficking as a real and present problem” - Primate.
Bill will hold sex buyers to account for their key role in fuelling organised crime and perpetrating abuse against victims of trafficking and exploitation.
Speaking at the launch of Ruhama's annual report, Senator Bacik says criminalising the purchaser has resulted in a reduction in prostitution and trafficking in Sweden.