Fine Gael Minister Criticises Government Stance on Sex Work

Today 25th of October 2016 Minister of State Eoghan Murphy in an interview with Hot Press expressed his opposition to the criminalisation of the purchase of sex, as proposed in Part 4 of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015. Part 4 of the Bill proposes to criminalise the purchase of sex and double penalties, in fines and jail sentences, for sex workers working collectively for safety, or on the street.

Kate McGrew, SWAI Coordinator said, “SWAI very much welcomes Minister of State Eoghan Murphy’s bravery in highlighting his concerns with the end demand approach to sex work being taken by the Government. We particularly welcome the Minister’s comments emphasising the importance of the Government’s role in respecting and protecting the agency and bodily autonomy of sex workers. Minister Murphy is now the second Government Minister to oppose this legislation after closely examining the considerable evidence from highly respected organisations documenting the harms and risk it poses to sex workers. Most recently, Amnesty International in its research, clearly showed that when this model of legislation has been applied in other jurisdictions it has failed in achieving its aims, and has had the documented effect of doing more harm than good to the very people it is purported to help. This evidence was unavailable at the time this law was drafted. SWAI continue to urge that Part 4 be removed entirely from the Sexual Offences Bill until independent research is carried out with the participation of sex workers to understand the current situation on the ground, and the best legal approach for Ireland to take”.

ENDS

Notes for Editor

Media Contact
Dearbhla Ryan 085 824 9305 dearbhla@swai.eu