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Cork City Council to vote on call for law against buying sex

Tonight’s council meeting will debate a Labour motion which would see Cork become the latest council to call for a change in law.

CORK CITY COUNCILLORS will tonight vote on a motion calling on the government to change Ireland’s laws on prostitution, making it illegal to pay for sex.

A motion tabled by Labour would see Cork City follow the lead of county councils in Leitrim and Longford, which have passed similar motions in recent months.

The motions coincide with a Department of Justice consultation seeking submissions on potential changes to Ireland’s prostitution law.

Irish law currently does not ban prostitution itself, but prohibits the solicitation of paid sex and activities such as ‘kerb crawling’.

The motion in Cork has been supported by the Turn Off the Red Light group, a coalition of charities and social groups, who argue that the most effective way of tackling the sex industry is to hinder demand rather than supply.

It argues that such a legal shift, combined with the provision of better support services for people looking to leave the sex industry, would be a major benefit to the estimated 90 per cent of prostitutes who would prefer alternative employment.

A similar proposal is currently under public consultation in Northern Ireland.

Read: Northern Ireland to make it illegal to pay for sex

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