- What do you think about our sex work laws?
- Are you aware of the Sex Workers Alliance Ireland (SWAI), the only front-line, sex worker-led organisation in Ireland?
- Are you aware that when sex workers must work alone to work legally? 100% of sex workers SWAI speaks to want the option to work with a friend. Two sex workers were given a jail sentence in 2019, one of whom was pregnant.
- Are you aware that almost all of the people who have been prosecuted under our brothel-keeping laws are young, migrant women? Not traffickers, not pimps but the very people that our laws are supposed to “rescue”. Did you realise that many more sex workers due to brothel-keeping laws have been arrested than their clients?
- Are you aware that since the laws changed in 2017 there has been a 92% increase in violent crime against sex workers? Are you aware that there has also been a near 20% decrease in willingness to report to Gardai?
- During the pandemic, we got a taste of what End Demand looks like. Most sex workers in Ireland were unable to access government supports and over half were unable to give up sex work. Did our sex work laws help sex workers during this frightening time?
- Do you support the rights of sex workers, beyond them exiting sex work? What do you think sex workers would need to leave sex work or to not engage in the first place?
- Are you aware that there is a review of the law currently underway? Will you push for SWAI and currently working sex workers to be involved in the review? Our voices were actively excluded from the consultation when the law was introduced.
Politicians will try and avoid answers to hard questions so you can use this opportunity to inform them
- The law targets young migrant women, not pimps or traffickers.
- Where any aspect of sex work is criminalised it has adverse health outcomes for the workers.
- Sex workers are extremely unlikely to report an attack because of stigma and huge mistrust of the Gardaí. This has only gotten worse since the introduction of client criminalisation.
- Criminals are targeting sex worker precisely because they are forced to work alone or risk breaking the law.
- Client criminalisation makes it much more difficult to find trafficking victims.
- To reduce or eliminate sex trafficking we must understand how immigration policies lead to trafficking.
- People enter sex work for a variety of reason, often because they have no choice. Austerity, visa status, precarious work and housing, lack of childcare, drug-use, debt, paying their way through school, living with a disability and lack of decent employment are all factors.
- 61% of all murdered trans and gender diverse people whose profession was known were sex workers
- Gardaí use the presence of condoms as proof that purchase of sex has occurred. Using condoms as evidence flies in the face of any HIV prevention strategy.
We have made a handy printable guide so you can stick this on your door and be ready for whenever politicians call to your home looking for a vote.