EWL News

Northern Ireland: EWL welcomes new Bill proposing to make paying for sexual services illegal

[Brussels, 24 July 2013] The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) strongly welcomes the Bill tabled by Lord Morrow on 24 June 2013, at the Northern Ireland Assembly. The goal of the Bill is to make provision about human trafficking offences and exploitation, measures to prevent and combat human trafficking and slavery and provision of support for human trafficking victims. In particular, the EWL welcomes the proposal of Lord Morrow to address the demand for sexual services, as a key action to tackle trafficking and exploitation.

In his comments on the 147 responses submitted to the consultation process, Lord Morrow says: “Prostitution is based on, and sustains, gender inequalities in society and therefore measures should be taken to reduce it. Making paying for sexual services illegal sends a strong signal that men, women and children’s bodies in Northern Ireland are not for exploitation.”

The European Women’s Lobby strongly supports Lord Morrow’s views that prostitution and trafficking are violations of women’s rights and obstacles to equality between women and men. According to Lord Morrow, Northern Ireland has a strong abolitionist heritage. The EWL had also contributed to the consultation process, highlighting the need to address prostitution as a root cause for trafficking and a violation of women’s dignity. The EWL encourages all members of the Northern Ireland Assembly to support Lord Morrow’s initiative, as such Bill would send a strong signal that Northern Ireland puts gender equality and women’s rights and dignity at the core of its values and policies.

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