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Over 300 women affected by trafficking and prostitution needed help last year

That is an 18% increase on 2012.

Image: Hands tied via Shutterstock

OVER 300 WOMEN caught in the sex trade needed help from Ruhama last year, the organisation has said.

In their 2013 report, Ruhama says that is an 18% rise on 2012.

Over the 25 years, Ruhama has assisted over 2,500 women affected by prostitution from over 60 different countries.

There was an increase of 29% in the number of women (219) accessing Ruhama’s Casework programme, which involves designing a care plan to respond holistically to the individual woman’s needs.

83 of the women in Casework were trafficked for the purpose of prostitution, a 17% increase since 2012.

In 2013, 70 women in street-based prostitution received assistance through the Ruhama Outreach Van.

Speaking on the launch of the report, Sarah Benson, CEO, Ruhama said that the sex trade in Ireland is globalised.

“It is quite remarkable when we analysed our work over the past 25 years to see the number of women assisted by Ruhama and the range of nationalities which is indicative of the globalised sex trade which now exists in Ireland.

“I am also struck by the many changes which have taken place in the Irish sex trade, particularly how it has become increasingly organised by criminal gangs and adapted to the use of modern telecommunications to operate.

“Yet, among all those changes, some things have not changed fundamentally – there is still the persistence of harm, exploitation and risk which has always, and which continues to pervade the sex trade”

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Meanwhile, the Immigrant Council of Ireland has called for the government to mimic laws relating to sex buyers recently passed in Canada.

“Canada’s decision comes less than two weeks after politicians at Stormont also overwhelmingly accepted the arguments in favour of targeting demand to end exploitation, abuse and trafficking. Both jurisdictions are now set to ruin the business model which allows pimps, traffickers and organised crime to pockets millions of euro,” said Denise Charlton of the Immigrant Council.

Read: Teenage girl jailed for running prostitution ring and drugging and beating young girls

Read: “Pimps may look south” warning, as Stormont votes to criminalise paying for sex

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