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Cannot find nice brothel keepers

Madam -- The analysis of the current sex trade by Jim Cusack (Sunday Independent, June 3, 2012) contained some claims by Garda 'sources' and those supporting the trade which do not stand up to any scrutiny.

The sweeping assertion that 'Catholic and feminist' groups are the only ones claiming the trade has links to human trafficking is wrong. More than 50 organisations are campaigning for a change in the law under the banner 'Turn off the Red Light'.

The allegation that Garda raids on brothels are indiscriminate begs the question: where are the nice brothel keepers who are being allegedly discriminated against? Certainly, as a frontline organisation working with women trapped in lives of threats, violence and abuse, we have never come across them.

The experience across Europe is that this is a trade closely linked and funded by the criminal world resulting in law reforms in Sweden, Norway, Iceland, France, Britain and Northern Ireland.

Two-thirds of the 57 people rescued from human traffickers in Ireland last year said they were brought here to work in the sex industry; seven of these were children.

We welcome the fact that over 80 public representatives have publicly declared support for the campaign to close a loophole in Irish law and make it an offence to pay for sex.

We invite your readers to join our campaign and together we can end this abuse of human rights in communities across Ireland.

Denise Charlton,

CEO, Immigrant Council of Ireland

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