File photo Lewis Whyld/PA Wire.

Changes to prostitution law in Scotland 'could see brothel keepers focus on Ireland'

The Scottish parliament is debating a plan to fast-track new laws which would make it illegal to pay for sex – but that could lead to them moving their activities here, the Immigrant Council of Ireland has warned.

HUMAN TRAFFICKERS AND brothel keepers could be tempted to move their activities to Ireland if a planned change in the laws around prostitution in Scotland goes ahead, the Immigrant Council of Ireland has warned.

The Scottish parliament is this week debating a plan to fast-track new laws which would make it illegal to pay for sex. The Immigrant Council of Ireland says that Ireland should follow the Scottish lead on closing a legal loophole which also exists in Irish law.

“With Scotland now joining the list of countries which are debating or introducing new laws there is a real danger that Ireland could become a safe haven for traffickers, pimps and others who have no regard for human rights,” said Denise Charlton, the chief executive of the Immigrant Council of Ireland.

She said that the Scottish bill is in line with actions being taken in other European countries to crack down on prosecution.

“If successful, it will give the authorities an important legal weapon to close down a sex trade where threats, violence and abuse take place on a regular based,” said Charlton.

The SNP-led government in Scotland says it will give ‘careful consideration’ to the new proposals which aim to clamp down on the sex trade and disrupt trafficking, the Scotsman reports.

Leitrim first council to call for ban on buying sex >

Irish fans urged not to use prostitutes during Euro 2012 >

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