Ireland to criminalise buying sex despite Amnesty ruling

NewsBy Morgan Flanagan Creagh
Ireland to criminalise buying sex despite Amnesty ruling

Ireland is set to publish a bill in the coming days which will criminalise the purchase of sex, despite the recent vote by Amnesty International that sex work and prostitution should be decriminalised.

The international human rights group passed the resolution to: “adopt a policy that seeks attainment of the highest possible protection of the human rights of sex workers, through measures that include the decriminalisation of sex work”.

Feminist sex worker and Sex Workers Alliance member Catriona wrote about her plight in The Journal.

“The proposed bill terrifies me as a sex worker, as it ignores evidence that criminalisation doesn’t work and, more importantly, ignores our voices.

“Sex workers’ voices often get drowned out by NGOs, because in their eyes we are not representative. According to research done by Queen’s University on prostitution in Northern Ireland, however, 98% of sex workers didn’t want to see the introduction of legislation criminalising sex there. If that’s not representative, then I’m not sure what is.

“Worst of all, sex workers experience worse work conditions and feel more stigmatised as a result of criminalisation.”

The new legislation, which will criminalise the purchase of sex, has been described as a “huge step backwards” and likened to Ireland’s controversial blasphemy laws, which were enacted in 2009.

The new bill will also reform the law on incest as well as strengthening the law in relation to child pornography and grooming children for sex.