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Wednesday 6 December 2023 Dublin: 6°C
Joseph Morris/Flickr

Woman forced to work in Irish brothel to 'repay her debt'

It was the group’s second busiest year since it began working in the area a decade ago.

Update 4.50pm

LAST YEAR THE Immigrant Council of Ireland provided help to 31 victims of sex trafficking.

One woman who came forward in the past year was Maria, who was sold by a family member to sex traffickers in eastern Europe.

For years she was forced to work in a brothel to ‘repay her debt’, before she approached the Immigrant Council of Ireland who helped her find accommodation and begin training.

The Council has said that the 31 women were trafficked into Ireland from Europe, Africa, Asia and South America.

Speaking about the figures, Catherine Cosgrave, the legal services manager with the Immigrant Council, said that it had been the second busiest year since it began working in the area a decade ago.

Above all we must ensure that women and girls removed from the clutches of criminal gangs are not themselves treated as criminals.

The group supports victims by officially recognising them as victims of trafficking and assisting them with immigration, visa and asylum applications.

At the centre of the group’s anti-trafficking push is a call for the introduction of Scandinavian-style laws on sex work that would criminalise buyers of sex.

These types of laws have already been introduced in Northern Ireland with the first arrest being made last year.

Last August human rights NGO Amnesty International voted in support of the full decriminalisation of all aspects of prostitution.

Speaking about the adoption of the policy, the group’s secretary general Salil Shetty said:

“We recognise that this critical human rights issue is hugely complex and that is why we have addressed this issue from the perspective of international human rights standards. We also consulted with our global movement to take on board different views from around the world.”

Read: Wife stands by husband after he’s jailed for 17 years for rape of his three daughters

Also: Anonymous tip-off led to man’s arrest for online sex offences

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