A new report shows more people in Northern Ireland are buying sex online now than before it became a criminal offence to pay someone for sexual services.
A survey of clients shows its prevalence has actually risen from 50.3% to 74.5%.
Northern Ireland's Department of Justice says the new laws "may have only a limited deterrent effect on client behaviour."
Client criminalisation is not fit for purpose, has has been met with an increase in sex trafficking and is actively harmed the mental health of sex workers in NI, according to a new report https://t.co/egklSu6cgC pic.twitter.com/0sQpMiv3ar
— SWAI Ireland (@SWAIIreland) September 18, 2019
Its survey found the majority of clients in Northern Ireland (53.5%) stated that the law has made no difference to how often they purchase sex and they will continue to purchase sex with the same frequency.
Since the legislation was introduced in 2015, there has been an 18.5% rise in the number of sex workers advertising online.
Data also suggests that reported assaults against sex workers have increased by 225% from 2016 to 2018.
From June 2015 to December of last year, there had only been 15 arrests and two convictions for purchasing sex.