Northern Ireland Passes Anti-Prostitution Law

by Admin on October 29, 2014

A law making it a crime to pay for sex was passed by Northern Ireland’s Stormont assembly this week despite heavy opposition from sex workers, reports The Guardian.

The law was included in the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Bill introduced by Lord Morrow and is reportedly based on the “Swedish model” of a similar law banning paid sex in an effort to further “protect” sex workers and reduce sex trafficking.

According to The Guardian, Northern Ireland justice minister, David Ford, said the issue of prostitution should be addressed separately from human trafficking and slavery, and that “criminalizing the purchasing of sex, as a single clause in a bill, may create further risk and hardship for those individuals, particularly women involved in prostitution.”

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A survey of Northern Ireland sex workers and clients, commissioned by the Department of Justice and released on Friday, October 17, 2014, found that 98% of sex works opposed the law targeting consumers who buy sex and 61% thought banning purchased sex would make them less safe.

The Human Trafficking and Exploitation Bill—and the anti-prostitution legislation included in it—was passed by the Assembly on Tuesday, October 21, 2014. According to The Guardian, though the bill must pass further assembly stages, approval at this stage means it is “destined to become law.”

Read more about this story from The Guardian:
Northern Ireland: 98% of sex workers oppose new law criminalising clients
Northern Ireland ban on paying for sex is approved by Stormont assembly

More related international news:
Canada Sex Industry Study: ‘Sex Workers Are Average Canadians’
Dominatrix Kicked Out of Canadian Senate Hearings
Sex Prevention Officer Heads Prostitution Ring
Sex Workers Giving People with Disabilities “A Chance”

Watch these stories about Thailand’s sex industry:
An Investigator Discusses Prostitution in Thailand

Thai Prostitutes Helped by NGO Nightlight

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