Groups want change to vice laws
Groups representing 1.6 million people want vice laws radically reformed to criminalise men buying sex rather than prostitutes, campaigners have said.
As the deadline passed for submissions to the Government on new vice laws, the Turn Off The Red Light group claimed its awareness is reaching at least 44,000 people a week online.
Campaigners said they will continue to lobby for change, even though the opening for written recommendations is closing.
Turn Off The Red Light, which has the support of 57 trade unions, human rights and victims’ organisations, ex-prostitutes and emergency workers, said it has been greatly encouraged by the huge level of public support.
“The Government act by amending the 1993 Sexual Offences Act to criminalise the purchase of sex, and ensure those who sell sex are not criminalised and re-victimised," it said.
“We believe that following the Swedish model and introducing legislation to criminalise demand will act as a deterrent for people who buy sex.
“We also recommend that the change in legislation would be complemented by enhanced and sustained support services for people in prostitution who wish to exit.”
The Turn Off The Red Light campaign claims 1,000 women, predominantly migrants, are offered for sex every day in Ireland through the internet and 90 per cent of women in prostitution want to exit, but feel unable to do so.