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

The news comes as part of an online survey that was conducted by the Immigrant Council of Ireland.

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A QUARTER OF sex buyers in Ireland have come in contact with women and girls who they believe were trafficked, controlled or underage.

The news comes as the result of a survey on prostitution that was undertaken by the Immigrant Council of Ireland, in which they found that the greatest fear that sex buyers have is that they will contract a disease.

Of the 411 responses, 58 (or 14 per cent) said that they had previously paid for sex. All but one of the 58 were male.

Fear of a criminal record, receiving a jail sentence and being named in the media also ranked high among deterrents.

Over half of those who said that they had used prostitutes also said that they were in a relationship. The majority of these had also paid for sex outside of Ireland.

The survey also found that middle aged men were most likely to use prostitutes, with 36 per cent of respondents aged 25-44 and 48 per cent aged over 45.

Where education was queried, 41 per cent were found to have completed third level.

The chief executive of the Immigrant Council of Ireland, Denise Charlton, said that results of the survey showed that laws would, in fact, act as a deterrent to those who used prostitutes.

She also said that the image of the “happy independent hooker” was simply not true:

24% of buyers reconsidered a transaction because they believed the women and girls involved were controlled, unhappy, too young, unwilling or intimidated.

She also said that the widespread use of brothels of had shown prostitution was widely organised, while the fact that buyers had disposable incomes, third level educations and were in relationships dispelled the myth that prostitutes were only ”used by people who are lonely, isolated or insecure.”

Read: Committee on prostitution legislation to hear from award-winning journalist >

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Paul Hyland

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