Lack of regulation providing cover for 'brothels' - FG


The lack of regulation of the legitimate massage industry is being exploited by "criminal elements" in order to provide cover for brothels trafficking women into Ireland, Fine Gael's immigration spokesman Denis Naughten has claimed.

“As a result of complete inaction by the Minister for Health and the proliferation of sex advertisements appearing as professional classified ads, the Irish massage therapy industry has been forced to consider regulating itself," Mr Naughten said.

“The failure by the Department of Health to implement the 2005 recommendations of its own working group (Report of the National Working Group on the Regulation of Complementary Therapists to the Minister for Health & Children –Dec 2005) on the regulation of the legitimate massage therapy industry, is providing a legitimate cover for many brothels to operate and exploit vulnerable migrant women."

Mr Naughten claimed many of these brothels were using the "guise of complementary therapy to promote their business and openly advertise some of their services".

"That the gardaí are now monitoring some of these premises means that the situation requires urgent action.

“In its recommendations the group called for the ‘development of a robust system of voluntary self-regulation’ for this industry, yet nothing has happened in the intervening years."

He said the lack of regulation was sending out a clear message to international criminals that Ireland continues to be a "soft touch".