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Violence is an inherent part in prostitution: NWC response to Amnesty Report

Published: Tuesday, January 25, 2022

In response to Amnesty International’s report on prostitution in Ireland released today, the National Women’s Council (NWC) said that violence against women is an inherent part of prostitution, and that sexual consent cannot be purchased. 

Speaking upon publication of Amnesty’s report, Mia de Faoite, Beyond Exploitation Co-Ordinator and Survivor Activist said:
“The law seeks to end the demand for sexual exploitation by targeting the buyers and exploiters does not place criminal liability on women in prostitution. This means women can go to the authorities for protection. Of course, this law is merely the first step in ending commercial sexual exploitation in Ireland.  The National Women’s Council leads a new campaign, Beyond Exploitation, which calls for the resources and supports necessary to ensure no woman or girl is trapped in exploitation. We recognise the complexities which can lead women into prostitution, the trauma women experience whilst there and the complex needs of those who want to leave. As a survivor of sexual exploitation and having been a witness to the suffering of others, I see no justification for any attempt to legitimise a system where the horrifying levels of violence are endemic.”

Orla O’Connor, Director of NWC said:
  “The focus in Ireland needs to be on developing and providing clear exit strategies to ensure nobody is forced to stay in prostitution due to poverty, racism or as a result of any other intersectional vulnerabilities. Evidence shows that the vast majority of women engaged in prostitution are not there out of choice - they have been forced into exploitation as a result of immigration status, poverty and other factors – and wish to leave. Our campaign Beyond Exploitation advocates for policies and measures which give all women and girls a real choice not to be bought for sex and provides exit routes for those who find themselves trapped in prostitution. It is vital that any focus on prostitution and sexual exploitation includes a focus on exit routes.”


For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Vicky Masterson, Digital Campaigns & Communications, 087 100 0385 or Sarah Clarkin, Social Media Coordinator 085 861 9087

About Beyond Exploitation

Beyond Exploitation is Ireland’s civil society campaign for equality and freedom from sexual exploitation. Led by National Women’s Council, with partner organisations Ruhama and Immigrant Council of Ireland, we support the most vulnerable and silenced people in prostitution to have a voice. We are advocating for policies and measures that give all women and girls a real choice not to be bought or sold for sex. Beyond Exploitation is also supported and endorsed by the following organisations: AkiDwa, Community Foundation Ireland, Doras, Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation, Longford Women’s Link, Men’s Development Network, One in Four, Rape Crisis Network Ireland, Safe Ireland, SIPTU, Women’s Aid.

The Equality Model (also known as the ‘Nordic model’) is the foundation of the Beyond Exploitation campaign. This model has been adopted internationally, including in Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Canada, France, Northern Ireland and Israel. It is woman-centered and targets buyers, exploiters and traffickers as profit-making exploiters of poverty, racism and other intersectional vulnerabilities.

You can find out more about the Beyond Exploitation campaign here: https://www.beyondexploitation.ie/