Europe’s MEPs vote to support Honeyball resolution & criminalise buyer of sexual services
In a major development, for the campaign against human trafficking (modern-day slavery) in Europe, MEPs today voted in favour of a resolution by Mary Honeyball MEP urging EU member states to re-evaluate their policies on prostitution and to adopt the approach of the “Nordic Model”. The approach addresses the inequality evident in prostitution by legalising the selling of sexual services while at the same time criminalising the buying of those services.
David Lohan is the co-author of a book entitled Open Secrets: An Irish Perspective on Trafficking & Witchcraft. He has worked with Cork-based charity Cois Tine (meaning “By the Fireside” in the Irish language), an organisation which has first-hand experience of dealing with victims of human trafficking in Ireland and abroad. He subscribes to the approach of the “Nordic Model” and he supports the Turn Off The Red Light campaign which seeks to introduce the approach in Ireland.
David Lohan said:
“MEPs are keenly aware of the nature and extent of the abuses being perpetrated by human traffickers in member states. At the heart of the problem is a situation of social and economic inequality. Acting as brokers, traffickers are able to leverage the vulnerability of the seller of sex against the economic power of those who would buy it, making vast profits in the process. The role of the buyer in this arrangement simply cannot be ignored and there is ample research to demonstrate that this role is a key factor in ending the exploitation. Today’s vote by MEPs for the approach further vindicates what advocates have long maintained"
David Lohan added:
“The Turn Off The Red Light campaign has been advocating, for some years now, the adoption of this approach in Ireland. Minister Shatter’s own Oireachtas Justice Committee’s review has concurred after a long reflection that this is indeed the way forward. There has, however, been no action. In the interim France has acted by introducing the Nordic Model. Now Europe has acted too, supporting the same approach. The time for Ireland to act is long past due. Ultimately though, it is the victims, who are exploited by traffickers profiting from Ireland’s sex trade, who pay the price of inaction. I call upon the Minister, as many have already called upon him, to act immediately, and to introduce legislation in accordance with the findings of the Oireachtas Justice Committee’s review and in accordance with today’s developments in the European Parliament.”
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