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Sinn Féin support government sex offences bill - Jonathan O'Brien TD

5 October, 2016 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Speaking in Leinster House today Sinn Fein Justice Spokesperson Deputy Jonathan O’Brien called for support for the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015. 

Deputy O’Brien said; 

“Sinn Fein welcomes the Bill which we are happy to support. 

“Sinn Fein are on the record of supporting the purchase of sex and the criminalisation of the buyer.

“We welcome that the Government have taken the initiative to remove sex workers from being criminalised under the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 1993 for offences such as loitering and solicitation. 

“However, it is important that those who work indoors or together for safety are not criminalised as an unintended consequence of this bill.

“The Minister has stated on numerous occasions that the goal of this Bill is to end sex work, however one of the main barriers to people exiting sex work is going to be criminal convictions. 

“The changes put forward in this Bill must be accompanied by holistic and comprehensive support and awareness strategies – and exit strategies - and this is a view supported by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.  

"There are a wide range of other provisions in this legislation we welcome including those relating to persons with disabilities; the need to ensure consenting peer sexual activity is not criminalised and the need to protect children from grooming and online predators.” 

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