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Sex-trafficking is one of EU’s most lucrative crimes and it’s here, too

The life of prostitution and sex-trafficking set out by Nina Burleigh (‘Pretty Woman’ hides the ugly reality of prostitution, Irish Examiner, Opinion, March 25) is one with which frontline agencies across Ireland can identify.

At the Immigrant Council of Ireland, this has been our most demanding year in representing women who were brought to this country to be forced into prostitution. In 2014, our Independent Law Centre and frontline services worked with 19 women who were sex-trafficked.

Our communities are not immune from what is one of the most lucrative crimes in the European Union: 30,146 victims have been discovered in three years. Sexual exploitation is the goal of 69% of all human trafficking in Europe, and it rivals the drugs trade in scope.

On June 1, our neighbours in Northern Ireland will follow the lead of Canada, Sweden and major US Cities by enacting laws that will target demand for these crimes: ie, the buyers of sex.

Similar legislation is due to be published by our Justice Minister, Frances Fitzgerald, TD, in the coming weeks.

We urge politicians of all parties, and those who are independent, to row in behind the proposals and ensure their swift progress through the Oireachtas.

Failure to act now runs the real risk that sex buyers and pimps in the North will seek safe haven in the South.

Nusha Yonkova,

Anti Human Trafficking Manager,

Immigrant Council of Ireland

2 Andrew St,

Dublin 2


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