The Government is set to bring in new laws making it illegal to pay for sex.
The move aims to stop human trafficking by reducing the demand for prostitutes in this country.
Irish law currently makes it illegal to solicit someone for sex, but not to pay for sex itself.
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said paying for sex is one of the biggest causes of human trafficking.
"We are under no illusion here - this is a business. There is a business model here - traffickers operate only to make money out of human misery," she said.
"And those who purchase the services of these victims fuel this evil trade, and they too bear responsibility for the lives stolen by trafficking."
"It is ironic, isn't it, that it's not acceptable legally to buy drugs … but somehow there's an ambivalence about the purchase of sex from women, of buying women."
"It is kind of an extraordinary reflection on our society, I believe."