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Abusers beware: Ireland will close its doors to traffickers and pimps
Statement by Turn Off the Red Light campaign
The Sexual Offences Bill, including laws to criminalise the purchase of sex and ensure vulnerable women, children and men in prostitution can access support, has today (07.02.2017) been passed by Dáil Éireann. The 70+ partners of the Turn Off the Red Light campaign are now calling on the members of Seanad Éireann to stand with the most at-risk groups in Ireland and give the Bill its full support. Denise Charlton, Chair of Turn Off the Red Light, said:
“There is a reason this legislation has been called the most important since the formation of the State. The Bill shifts attention to the perpetrators of sexual crime, and those who enable abuse and exploitation to continue.
“The sex trade is Ireland is worth €250 million to pimps and traffickers annually, and the Irish Government is making a clear statement that we will stand together with those being exploited to stop this exploitation. Targeting buyers means we can reduce the demand for women and children to be coerced into selling sexual services.
“The Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald TD, with extensive cross-party support, has shown real leadership in prioritising legislation that supports children, women and men who are rarely given a voice in our society.
“The inclusion of a review period in this legislation affirms the Government’s commitment to making sure the Bill will have real impact for those it seeks to support. We look forward to working with the Government in the coming months to ensure this impact.
“We are now looking to members of the Seanad to pass this Bill as a priority in the coming weeks.
“Every day that this legislation is delayed puts women, children and men at risk of further abuse, and puts thousands of euros into the pockets of pimps, thugs and traffickers.”