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Ireland: Republic of Ireland: New Bill criminalise clients of sex workers and increase penalties for indoor sex workers

Today, February 15th 2017, the Republic of Ireland voted in favour of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill. This Bill introduce the criminalisation of clients as well as increase the penalty for sex workers working together for safety. The Bill also allows the authorities to confiscate the earnings of sex workers as 'proceeds of crime'.

Promoted as a tool topromote gender equality and help rescue sex workers, the Bill however does not include any provision that would offer support to sex workers wanting or forced to stop selling sexual services.  This Bill by criminalising our clients and doubling penalities for indoor workers working in duo or in group will only increase the precariousness and vulnerability of sex workers in the Republic of Ireland.

ICRSE denounces this Bill and the moral bias against sex work that supported it. The criminalisation of clients has been opposed by the sex workers' rights movements for decades and is also vehemently rejected by Human RIghts Watch, Amnesty international, WHO, Unaids, Transgender Europe and 100s of other health and human rights organisations in Europe and globally.

ICRSE congratulates our member Sex Workers Alliance Ireland (SWAI), who tirelessly fought against this Bill and was succesful in introducing a clause that remove the criminalisation of soliciting for outdoors sex workers as well as a clause stipulating a review of the law in 3 years.

Read SWAI's statement on the passing of the Bill here.


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