Implementation of sex buyer laws in Ireland

Sex buyer laws backed by National Women’s Council of Ireland
Implementation of laws and other anti sex trafficking measures demanded at AGM
“Motions seek new sexual offences bill, safe and secure accommodation for victims and appointment of Independent Anti-Trafficking Rapporteur receive backing”
Statement by the Immigrant Council of Ireland
The Government must act on calls by the National Women’s Council of Ireland to strengthen measures against human trafficking including the implementation of sex buyer laws, according to the Immigrant Council of Ireland.
Three motions aimed at combatting human trafficking and protecting victims were passed at the AGM of the National Women’s Council in Dublin (11th June 2015).
In addition to the implementation of sex buyer laws delegates want victims moved from Direct Provision Centres to safe housing and the appointment of an Independent Rapporteur on Human Trafficking, in line with other European Countries.
Responding to the Motions, Denise Charlton, Anti-Trafficking Consultant with the Immigrant Council of Ireland added:
“The calls by the National Womens Council are timely as the Government is now finalising legislation. The need for sex buyer laws has been heightened in the past two weeks with Northern Ireland moving ahead with its own laws and both France and Scotland expected to follow suit. Failure to act will risk leaving our communities as safe havens for pimps.
Ending demand will smash the business model for organised crime but it is also vital that victims are given supports and protections which is why they must be placed in safe homes away from the reach of pimps, traffickers and thugs.
Appointing an Independent Rapporteur will not only bring us into line with the rest of Europe, but will also ensure that the measures we have in place are working.”
Brian Killoran, Chief Executive of the Immigrant Council of Ireland added:
“As a frontline organisation which has supported 19 victims of sex-trafficking in the past year we warmly welcome the support received at the AGM of the National Women’s Council.
In particular we want to acknowledge the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, Akidwa and Ruhama who joined us to secure these motions. Ireland’s time to shut down this most lucrative of crime is now and we will be working with our 72 partner organisations in the Turn Off the Red Light campaign in order to ensure this opportunity is not lost.”
Motions Passed at AGM of the National Women’s Council of Ireland
18. Enactment of Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2014
The INMO calls on the NWCI, considering its policy on violence against women and prostitution, and its membership of Turn Off The Red Light and the European’s Women’s Lobby, to provide support and resources to ensure successful implementation of same.
Proposed by: Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.
Seconded by: The Immigrant Council of Ireland.
19. Victims of trafficking placed in direct provision centres
The Immigrant Council calls on the NWCI to support efforts of NGOs to end the practice of housing trafficked victims, in particular vulnerable sexually abused women, in Direct Provision, and to provide instead gender-sensitive accommodation offering safety, privacy and chances of recovery from trauma.
Proposed by: Immigrant Council of Ireland
Seconded by: AkiDwA
20. Independent National Rapporteur for victims of Human Trafficking
The Immigrant Council calls on the NWCI to lobby for the establishment of an Independent National Rapporteur on Trafficking of Human Beings, to independently monitor the implementation of the National Action Plan, policies and legislation, to ensure a robust and transparent system which protects victims.
Proposed by: Immigrant Council of Ireland
Seconded by: Ruhama

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About AkiDwA

AkiDwA as an organisation emerged from regular meetings held amongst fellow migrant women, from 1999 to 2001, initiated by Salome Mbugua, a Kenyan migrant woman who had arrived in Ireland in 1994. The first meeting was held in city centre Dublin, in Temple Bar, in 1999. In 2001, through the support of the Catherine McAuley Centre, Salome mobilised a group of African women to come together to SHARE their experiences of living in Ireland. What emerged from this meeting were feelings of exclusion, isolation, racial abuse and discrimination, issues related to gender based violence were also raised. The group went on to meet regularly and were supported and offered facilitation from outside. AkiDwA sought and obtained funding from the Combat Poverty Agency in 2002 to carry out a pilot needs assessment with African women living in Ireland. The survey elicited over two hundred female participants from seventeen counties. Formal structures were put into place when AkiDwa was registered as a company with guarantee but without capital SHARE in 2003. However, limited funding meant that most work continued to be carried out on a voluntary basis. With a view towards enhancing the integration of migrant women and indigenous women, training modules were developed including programmes on capacity building, cultural diversity, racism and its effects on society. In addition, ‘Train the trainers modules were also developed’. Over the years, the organisation has gained recognition as a leading NGO in Ireland, reviewing key legislation, policy and practice as well as proposing reforms specifically to do with the issues faced by migrant women. AkiDwA consulted with migrant women and other key stakeholders, identifying gender and racially discriminatory practices, to develop evidence based and representative solutions for migrant women in the key identified areas of gender-based violence, gender discrimination. AkiDwA employs the following key strategies to achieve its objectives: networking, policy work and individual and organisational capacity building/development. AkiDwA’s networking strategy is aimed at individual and organisational levels. Policy work is developed from migrant women, identifying their needs in the areas of gender discrimination, gender-based violence and employment. AkiDwA develops legislative, policy and practice reforms to address these priority issues with government and sectoral stakeholders, as well as capacity-building programmes to deliver the on the ground practical support that women require. AkiDwA has developed the capacity of hundreds of migrant women and their communities living in Ireland over the course of its lifetime. Their capacity building was supported through our network, resource centre, outreach and training programmes aimed at promoting participation in their local communities, in civic and political structures and in sectoral and government consultations and decision making processes. Training programmes delivered over the years including targeted capacity building in multiple regions, sexual health workshops, access to education and employment, integration, leadership and political/civic participation sessions.