Mission Statement: To promote the social inclusion, health, safety, civil rights and the right to self determination of female, male cisgender and transgender sex workers

Sex Workers in Ireland speak out on International Sex Workers Day – 2nd June 2016

Today, June 2nd, on International Sex Workers Day, sex workers in Ireland speak out on social media about their lives and work.

Aoife, Sex Worker, said, “Failure to listen to our needs and experiences results in bad laws that do more harm than good and puts us at risk of more violence and abuse. Sex workers in Ireland for so long have been ignored, stigmatised and stereotyped. Today we are saying no more. Decision makers must listen to us, actual sex workers, the very people any policy or law will impact”.

Kate McGrew SWAI coordinator, said “Amnesty International published findings last week exposing the dangers of the ‘Nordic Model’, which the Irish Government is proposing in the Sexual Offences Bill. Their research highlights the importance of listening to sex workers, to clearly understand how laws affect their ability to keep themselves safe and access justice. This social media action today is about highlighting the realities and complexities of sex workers’ lives. Too often sex workers are portrayed and reduced to victims or criminals. We need to move on from the stereotypes and assumptions and look at the actuality of people’s lives. For me the most poignant response came from R, a Hungarian mother of five who, when asked why she did sex work, simply answered, “For a normal life”.


Notes for Editor
Kate McGrew, SWAI Coordinator is available for interview
Photograph collage of sex workers who took part in action in attachment.
Individual photographs will be released throughout the day on SWAI’s Facebook Page and Twitter profile.
The origins of International Sex Workers Day: ‘In 1975, on 2nd June, about 100 sex workers occupied Saint-Nizier Church in Lyon, France, to express their anger about their criminalised and exploitative living conditions. On 10th June at 5 o’clock the Church was brutally raided and cleared by police forces. This action sparked a national movement, and the day is now celebrated in Europe and around the world’.

Media Contact
Kate McGrew

Dearbhla Ryan


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About SWAI

SWAI supports the self-determination of all sex workers. To be given a voice and allowed to speak on their own behalf. We support a harm reduction policy in relation to sex work and that sex workers should be granted the same rights as all other workers.