New report says criminalisation of buying sex will reduce human trafficking

No one in Ireland has been prosecuted for buying sex since it was made illegal in 2017. 

The Immigrant Council of Ireland is calling on authorities to implement the legislation which made it illegal to buy sex but decriminalized prostitution. 

It comes as a new report, carried out in 6 different countries including Ireland, found criminalising those who buy sex, is the best way to end demand. 

The research, which examined legislative approaches to prostitution and trafficking in six EU member states also recommended the decriminalisation of those in prostitution.

Activist and survivor Mia De Faoite spent 6 years in prostitution and says it strips you of your dignity: 'I'd no idea the world I was about to step into. In a short space of time if pretty much owns you. We know we're the worst insult a woman can call a woman'.

Monica O’Connor, co-founder of SERP (Sexual Exploitation Research Project UCD) and author of the report, said, “In Sweden, and now in France and Ireland, the laws flow from the understanding of prostitution as a form of violence against women. This means the demand to buy girls or women to supply sexual acts is not regarded as legitimate or acceptable within society and, therefore, the purchase of sex is a criminal offence, while those being exploited are decriminalised.

There are now calls for more resources for Gardai to implement the legislation and prosecute those that pay for sex.