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Thursday 19 July 2018

Pimps are thriving despite crackdown on buying sex

Stock photo: PA
Stock photo: PA
Allison Bray

Allison Bray

Prostitution is still thriving despite a new law that makes buying sex illegal, according to advocates for former sex workers.

Despite the enactment of the 2017 Sexual Offences Act a year ago which prohibits the buying of sex, brothels are still "operating openly" and "notorious pimps are still advertising women as merchandise on their pimping websites," according to Dublin-based Space International.

The advocate for former prostitutes claimed gardaí are not doing enough to clamp down on the illicit sex trade.

"The police do not seem to be targeting pimps or buyers of sex in known locations," the organisation said in a statement yesterday.

Its founder Rachel Moran said: "Sex trade survivors know exactly how it feels to be caught up in prostitution and what we need in terms of policy and practice to make our lives better. The harms are obvious to those of us with first-hand experience."

While she said prostitutes are now being treated with 'more empathy' by gardaí after the law came into force last March which decriminalised those who sell sex, more needs to be done.

"We have to do far better with arresting the pimps, traffickers and buyers who are causing both the immediate harm and the demand," she said.

"Without this demand, the pimps and traffickers would have no role to begin with. The buyers are easy to find and what they are doing is now illegal, so there is no reason not to charge them with the crime they are committing."

"It appals me that men are still purchasing sex from vulnerable women with impunity."

Gardaí were immediately unavailable for comment.

Irish Independent

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