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Dublin: 7 °C Tuesday 12 November, 2019
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Are we about to see an influx of pimps to Ireland?

Our nearest neighbour is cracking down on sex buyers.

Image: Shutterstock

A NUMBER OF organisations have warned that stricter prostitution rules in Northern Ireland “will send pimps crossing the border” into the republic.

The Immigrant Council of Ireland, Doras Luimní and Ruhama are backing a call for a European-wide approach to ensure that organised criminals who run prostitution rings “can no longer act with impunity”.

Speaking at a meeting about the issue in Brussels, Nusha Yonkova, Anti-Trafficking Manager with the Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI), said:

“It is clear the international debate on how to end sex trafficking has changed, with Northern Ireland about to join a growing list of jurisdictions targeting demand for this crime by introducing sex buyer laws on June 1.”

In October, the Northern Ireland Assembly voted by 81 to 10 in favour of making it a crime to pay for sex.

The ICI is one of 38 European organisations calling on politicians at both national and EU levels to enforce stricter punishments for pimps and traffickers.

Given that Northern Ireland’s laws are now just 10 days away this is particularly urgent in Ireland. We cannot allow one part of the island to act as a safe haven for thugs while the other pushes ahead with laws which have been shown to work in Sweden, Canada and in the major cities of the US.

Yonkova said sex buyer laws are fully supported by the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, adding: “They also enjoy the unanimous support of the Oireachtas Justice Committee which spent two years examining the issues involved.”

Sexual offences legislation which has been developed over the last decade is currently in draft form.

If passed, the bill will create new offences for purchasing sex in relation to prostitution.

The legislation also deals with sexual exploitation of children and child abuse material.

There are 1,420 people on the Irish sex offenders register – but none of their details are public

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About the author:

Órla Ryan

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