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. 90% 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.
If you are in prostitution and would like to talk
If you have experienced sexual violence
If you have a query about your immigration status or that of someone close to you
If you are a victim of human trafficking
If you have witnessed human trafficking