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MEP Emer Costello issues statement of support for Brussels’ Call to end prostitution

[Brussels, 06 December 2012] Speaking at the conference "10 years of policies on prostitution: Outcomes of the Swedish and Dutch options, and ways forward" in the European Parliament last 04 December, Dublin Labour MEP Emer Costello, said more must be done at EU level to tackle the links between prostitution and organised crime.

The purpose of the conference, hosted by the European Women’s Lobby (EWL), is to evaluate policy development on prostitution across Europe over the past ten years, and examine the outcomes of the Swedish and Dutch models. The conference will also launch the “Brussels’ Call” - a document calling for a Europe free from prostitution, which has already been signed by more than 150 NGOs across Europe.

Signing the “Brussels’ Call” Declaration, Costello, who is a member of the European Parliament’s Special Committee on Crime, Money Laundering and Corruption, commended the EWL for their pioneering work and their campaign for a Europe-wide ban on the purchase of sex. She further called for the radical overhaul of legislative, policing and social responses to prostitution across EU Member States.

“Given the move towards the online sex industry which exists in Europe today and the increasing role played by organised crime, it is clear that the issue needs to be addressed Europe-wide basis. We need to have European solutions to this problem”.

“There is a growing acceptance that Irish legislation also needs to be revised to reflect the realities of the twenty-first century sex industry. I recently made a submission to the Dáil Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality on the review of Irish legislation on prostitution. My submission strongly supported the ‘Turn Off the Red Light Campaign’ for the criminalisation of the purchase of sex in Ireland. Minister Shatter is now currently examining proposals on foot of this review and I look forward to his report and recommendations for legislation on the matter which I hope will be imminent”.

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