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Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Pimps 'taking advantage' of delay in new prostitution law

Twelve months have now passed since a Dáil committee recommended new laws that would see buyers of sex punished.
Jun 26th 2014, 9:54 AM 17,345 58

NURSES AND MIDWIVES have criticised a 12-month delay in new legislation which would see buyers of sex punished, claiming pimps and traffickers have been taking advantage of the downtime.

Edward Mathews, Director of Regulation and Social Policy with the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation said his organisation is disappointed that a year has passed not and “nothing has happened”.

Campaigners are asking TDs to act on the recommendation from the Oireachtas Justice and Equality Committee in June last year to bring in the laws which would switch the focus off prostitutes and onto those buying sex. The recommendations enjoy support across the political sphere and also have the backing of 70 Irish organisations through the ‘Turn Off the Red Light’ campaign.

“In the void, the pimps have continued their work unabated,” Mathews commented. “They exploit women and girls in their hundreds in order to make millions. That is a crime and it is estimated that this criminal trade makes between €180 million to €250 million from Ireland every year.”

He said failure to show political leadership on this issue is a “betrayal against victims of human trafficking”.

Read: Drugs and prostitution will be used to measure Ireland’s GDP>

Column: Sex buyers are the last link in chain of trafficking, abuse and rape>

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Michelle Hennessy

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