Sunday 21 January 2018

Up to 1,000 women work daily in 'thriving' sex trade

Ed Carty

ABOUT 1,000 women are working as prostitutes in Ireland every day, an agency which supports those in the sex trade said.

Ruhama said it worked with 204 women last year, up 4pc on the previous year, and described Ireland's sex trade as "thriving".

Ruhama chief executive Sarah Benson said it helped 80 women who claimed they had been trafficked to Ireland.

And Ms Benson repeated calls for vice laws to be reformed with the criminal burden placed on those paying for sex and not those selling.

"The focus has rightly turned in recent times from the women and girls and the small number of men and boys who are in prostitution towards those who are profiting," she said.

"This includes of course the buyers. The sex trade is a multi-million euro industry in Ireland fuelled by their demand."

Ms Benson added: "We are constantly adapting to ensure that we are mindful and respectful of the diverse cultural backgrounds of the women accessing our services."

Ruhama helped 70 women working as street prostitutes through its outreach service.

But the annual report warned that on any day up to 1,000 women and girls are selling sex across the country.

Irish Independent

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