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Campaign against sex-trafficking targets potential punters

‘Real Men Don’t Buy Girls’ is the message of the major social media programme.

THE IMMIGRANT COUNCIL of Ireland has launched a major social campaign to highlight the incidence of sex-trafficking in Ireland.

Targeted at potential punters, the message ‘Real Men Don’t Buy Girls’ will be delivered by high-profile Irish music and sports stars to outline the “reality behind trafficking”.

The campaign hopes to create greater awareness among young men about the early age at which many girls enter prostitution.

“There is never any excuse for buying a girl, either here in Ireland or when travelling abroad with mates,” said chief executive Denise Charlton.

“As a frontline agency we know that girls and young women are often being tricked into coming to Ireland only for the grim reality of their situation to dawn when they are picked up at Dublin Airport and forced into a life of selling their bodies. This is something no brother, young father or any man should find acceptable.”

Currently, one in four people sex-trafficked in Ireland is a child.

Broadcaster Dáithí Ó Sé is one of the men kickstarting campaign. He said he wants to make a clear stand that there is no acceptable level of sex trafficking.

“We know already that this is a crime which is a modern day scourge and something which real men will never tolerate. Whether away for a music festival, sporting event or on a stag party abroad there is never an excuse for buying girls.

“We must ensure that there is no safe haven for traffickers and organised criminals who line their pockets by trampling on the human rights of women and girls.”

Other well-known faces involved in the campaign include radio presenter Ray Foley and Republic of Telly’s Bernard O’Shea.

According to Department of Justice figures, there were 134 cases of detected cases of trafficking for sexual exploitation between 2009 and 2011. There were 32 children involved.

One in four sex buyers have met trafficked, controlled or underage females – survey

Barnardos highlights problem of ‘loverboys’ in child prostitution

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