In late 2019 the Sex Workers Alliance Ireland undertook peer research into the lives and experiences of sex workers under the Criminal Law Sexual Offenses Act in anticipation of the 3 year review. We sought to ensure that active sex workers were heard about the reality of our lives.
This research utilised both qualitative and quantitative methods, to provide a broad picture of the situation in Ireland for sex workers currently.
- This law has not prevented people from engaging in sex work.
- It has negatively impacted safety measures making survival more perilous.
- Instead of making workers safer it has made sex work much more dangerous and decreased faith and trust in Gardaí amongst workers.
- Crime against sex workers has increased significantly under this law.
- This law has failed to reduce numbers of clients but instead it has worsened behaviour of clients toward sex workers.
- Sex workers have lost bargaining power and are therefore seeing clients they might have previously refused to see and engaging in acts they might not have previously considered.
- Existing supports for workers are severely lacking and tend to be focused on workers that are actively trying to exit sex work.