THE simple statistic, though it’s probably reflective of what happens in a lot of other European countries, that sex exploitation is behind seven in 10 cases of human trafficking into Ireland, is hardly something we can be proud of.
At its simplest, this exploitation is the more-or-less enslavement of individuals, mostly vulnerable women from impoverished backgrounds, for the pleasure of others who can afford to pay to subjugate.
As recent reports on how women working as domestics or au pairs are sometimes mistreated, this exploitation is not confined to the sex industry.
The call from support agencies, working in this area for an independent office, to assess how victims are supported by State services is welcome and seems the very minimal we should do to try to bring an end to the abuse of individuals trafficked illegally into Ireland.
Of course, the easiest way to protect these unfortunate, brutalised people is to make it illegal to buy sex and to make sure the sanctions are strong enough to be a real deterrent.
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