Friday 22 September 2017

We'll never eradicate prostitution - so target vile trafficking instead

In Ireland, the campaign to punish the sex trade customers instead of the suppliers has taken fire.
In Ireland, the campaign to punish the sex trade customers instead of the suppliers has taken fire.
James Downey

James Downey

Alan Shatter is right. He often is, you know. Right in more ways than one. The Justice Minister has a peremptory manner. That does not go down well with the multitudes of citizens who are accustomed to the folksy style of most Irish politicians.

But when it comes to issues that call for thought and study instead of kneejerk reactions, you can hear him thinking aloud. Lately he has been thinking aloud about a question that has provoked more kneejerk reactions than any of us have had hot breakfasts.

A few years ago, the Swedish government decided to criminalise the purchase of sex. Norway and Iceland followed suit. Elsewhere, many people rejoiced. They thought it a brilliant idea, an advance for women's rights. They demanded similar action in their own countries.

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