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Laws that facilitate the inequality of prostitution are an insult to the promise and values of the 1916 Proclamation- Mac Lochlainn

3 May, 2013 - by Pádraig Mac Lochlainn


Speaking in the Dáil today in support of Independent TD Thomas Pringle’s Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) (Amendment) Bill 2013, Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson outlined Sinn Féin’s support for a change in Ireland’s prostitution laws, as called for by the ‘Turn Off The Red Light’ campaign, and supported by trade unions and a wide range of civic society organisations.

Deputy Mac Lochlainn said:

“We need to send a clear message to Irish men that it is not ok for them to purchase another person’s body. Support for prostitution is support for inequality. It is an insult to the promise and values inherent in the 1916 proclamation.

"Sinn Féin overwhelmingly endorsed the 'Turn Off The Red Light' at our recent Ard Fhéis. We, as a party, can now add our name to the long list of organisations supporting this campaign.

"There are as many as 1000 women and girls for sale for sex in Ireland today. Prostitution is not a real choice for the vast majority of these women.”

He continued:

“In countries, like Sweden, where the purchase of sex is illegal, there has been a massive decline in prostitution and a significant reduction in sex trafficking and organised crime.

"The 'Turn off The Red Light' campaign argues that the most effective solution is to tackle the demand for paid sex that fuels prostitution and trafficking.”

He concluded:

"There is no perfect panacea to this challenge but I believe that putting the onus of responsibility on the user rather than the woman or sometimes man prostituted is a more humanitarian and I would argue Republican approach. We also need to ensure that those in prostitution are supported to exit this life and make a fresh start by a range of government services working together in an integrated fashion".

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