herald

Saturday 21 April 2018

Record number of women in sex trade seek help

WOMEN involved in the sex trade have approached a frontline service in record numbers, a new report shows.

Sex traffickers, pimps and sex procurers from all over the world are working in Ireland, and most prostitution is connected to organised crime, the report confirms.

Ruhama, the service that helps women affected by prostitution, assisted 258 women from 32 countries here last year.

The service also handled more than 13,000 phone calls calls and 5,200 texts, according to its annual report.

Migrant

Ruhama chief Sarah Benson said the report highlighted the globalised nature of the Irish sex trade. While the service continued to work with significant numbers of Irish women, "the majority of those in the indoor sex trade are migrant women".

"This small island remains a destination for traffickers, pimps and procurers from all corners of the globe," she said.

"The bulk of the prostitution in Ireland is connected with organised criminality.

"It is also beyond doubt that prostitution and trafficking for sexual exploitation are inextricably linked," she stressed.

The report was presented at a Ruhama seminar at which Ms Benson called for legislation to "create a hostile environment for traffickers and pimps".

csheehy@herald.ie

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