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Dublin: 4 °C Tuesday 7 April, 2020

EU Commissioner calls for continued pressure by police to combat sex trafficking

Cecilia Malmström made the call in a pre-recorded address to a major conference of trafficking experts being held in Dublin.

Image: woman tied hands via Shutterstock

LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES need to keep pressure on human traffickers “more than ever”, an EU Commissioner has said.

Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs, will address an international conference on sex trafficking and prostitution later today.

It marks the publication of ‘Tackling Demand for Sexual Services of Trafficked Women and Girls’, a study conducted by Immigrant Council of Ireland and across several EU countries in sex trafficking.

Speakers at the conference include Venla Roth, National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons for Finland, and Professor Roger Matthews of Kent University, advisor to the UK Parliament’s All-Party Group on Prostitution.

“Sexual exploitation”

“Sexual exploitation is only present because there is a demand for it,” Malmström said in a pre-recorded video address.

“For a little 10-year old girl to be exploited in the prostitution market or for producing pornography there has to be a client and there has to be a user.”

Malmström also noted a “worrying tendency to focus less on trafficking for sexual exploitation” recently.

Victims… need our support, and the traffickers need the pressure of law enforcement more than ever.

The report published today looks at the habits of sex buyers in Ireland, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Finland and Lithuania.

CEO of the Immigrant Council of Ireland said the report raises several issues that need “urgent consideration”.

“Our work in Ireland has shattered the myth that it is lonely men on the fringes of society who buy sex,” she said.

The study of 58 buyers of sex shows that:

  • 92 per cent were men.
  • 45 per cent were over 45
  • 62 per cent were earning €20,000
  • 52 per cent were in relationship.

Those took part in the survey also fear being named in a local newspaper more than being prosecuted.

Read: Ross Kemp launches new support agency for human trafficking survivors >

Column: We have glimpsed the human misery which fills the pockets of Europe’s pimps and traffickers >

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Nicky Ryan

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