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Human trafficking bill to be introduced in Northern Ireland

Written on:August 22, 2023
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A law to set women free from pimps…Northern Ireland to introduce new ruling soon

In a bid to tackle human trafficking, Northern Ireland is likely to make prostitution illegal by labelling a person who purchases sex as the offender with the introduction of a human trafficking and exploitation bill which has been presented for public consultation yesterday.

Lord Morrow, the Democratic Unionist, who has made the proposal in a private member’s bill opined that the changes would help avoid the infiltration of human traffickers to Northern Ireland. Activities such as kerb-crawling, pimping and brothel-keeping are illegal in the UK, but selling or paying for sex is allowed.

The MLA added that while it was illegal to pay for sex with a victim of human trafficking, it was often a difficult offence to prove. “I am trying to make it an offence to purchase sex because many of those who have been trafficked and sent to Northern Ireland are pushed into the sex trade”, he said.

“Now it is very difficult to differentiate between a person who is coerced and a person who is a willing participant, so therefore what we are saying is if a person purchases sex then they are the offender”, he stated.

Lord Morrow elaborated on the problem further by saying that when women are trafficked into Northern Ireland, their passports are seized, fed on drugs and probably made lead a pathetic life. “My bill is designed to get to the root cause. If there is no demand for this trade then there is no market, so therefore it should hopefully wither on the vine”, he concluded. The public consultation period ends on October 18, 2012.

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