New laws designed to protect prostitutes by criminalising the buyers of sex came into force today.
Turn Off The Red Light, an umbrella group of charities and groups against the selling of sex, described the commencement of the laws as “an historic day” which they believe will help “vulnerable women, children and men in prostitution access support”.
Spokeswoman for Turn Off The Red Light, Denise Charlton, said today is important because, for the first time, those involved in prostitution will no longer be criminalised by the law but instead protected by it.
She said “From today, the Irish State is finally telling those sexually exploited through prostitution: ‘You are not to blame. You are not at fault. You are the victim here and we will protect you.’
However, there are those who have been vehemently opposed to the bill. The Sex Workers Alliance of Ireland (SWAI) had said that the laws will not stop prostitution but will instead force women to operate in more clandestine way, thus increasing the likelihood of women being abused.
Spokesperson Kate McGrew said: The Government’s moral crusade was driven by ideology not evidence. National and international expert groups provided clear evidence that criminalisation of the purchase of sex is not only ineffective but would be harmful to the health and safety of sex workers across Ireland.
Are you happy that it has been brought in?