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.
“Leaving prostitution is incredibly hard. You may have left the street or brothels behind you but what comes with you are not only the practical issues. The severe physical and psychological effects, the rapes, physical assaults, the trauma come with you. The State also has an obligation to help repair the damage those people did and to prevent it happening to others.”
Defending human rights, equality and choice
Beyond Exploitation is informed by the Equality Model. Central to this model is the 2017 law ensuring that the selling of sex by individuals is no longer illegal in Ireland. At the same time the Equality Model reduces demand for sexual exploitation by making it illegal to pay for sex, complementing earlier laws that also make it illegal to pimp someone for sex, and to run a brothel. The Equality Model has reinforced Ireland’s commitment to human rights and equality by making the exploitation and abuse of vulnerable people in prostitution illegal.
Legislation is just one part of the Equality Model. Only when nobody is forced by coercion or by circumstance to sell sex can we have a more equal society. Poverty, lack of choice and precarious immigration status are some of the reasons many women end up in prostitution. 86% of women trafficked into Ireland will be sexually exploited.
94% of people advertised for sex in Ireland are migrant women. Many have insecure immigration status and little or no english.
Beyond Exploitation will be campaigning for measures aimed at giving people in prostitution real choice. We are advocating for full, integrated supports and opportunities that allow all people in Ireland to choose not to enter prostitution because of poverty, migrant status or discrimination, and that allow people to leave prostitution if that is their choice.
Community Foundation Ireland
Dublin Rape Crisis Centre
Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (INMO)
Longford Women’s Link
Men’s Development Network
One In Four
Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI)
If you have experienced sexual violence: Dublin Rape Crisis Centre National 24-Hour Helpline: 1800 77 8888 www.drcc.ie
If you have a query about your immigration status or that of someone close to you: Immigrant Council of Ireland helpline 01 6740200 www.immigrantcouncil.ie
If you are a victim of human trafficking: An Garda Síochána Freefone 1800 666 111 www.blueblindfold.ie