RTE Investigates report demonstrates why it’s time to change sexual offences legislation -Mac Lochlainn
Speaking after last night's powerful RTE Investigates report on the scale of the control of prostitution across Ireland by criminal gangs, Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has called on the Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald, to bring the Sexual Offences Bill through the houses before the Christmas recess.
Deputy Mac Lochlainn said:
"I commend the RTE Investigates team on their tremendous investigative work over the last four years that led to last night’s televised report.
“It was a powerful challenge to Irish society and Irish legislators on the reality of the control of prostitution by criminal gangs across Ireland.
“While only a small minority of Irish men believe they have the right to purchase the body of a vulnerable woman, the behaviour of some Irish men at locations across this island, revealed last night, is truly disgusting and shocking.
“Irish men need to stand up and be counted on this issue. They need to shout STOP.
“My party has endorsed the campaign, Turn Off The Red Light, led by NGOs across Ireland. This campaign aims to change the laws on sexual offences across the island of Ireland to the "Nordic Model" whereby the women in prostitution are completely decriminalised and instead, the purchasers of sex, overwhelmingly men, are subject to criminal sanctions.
“These laws are now in place in the North of Ireland and I am calling on the Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald, to ensure that the same legislation is taken through the Houses of the Oireachtas before the Christmas recess.
“It is also clear from last night’s report that the PSNI and An Garda Síochána will need the appropriate resources to tackle these insidious criminal gangs head on. Laws on their own are of no use unless they are robustly enforced".