Government must bring forward review of sex work laws following spate of attacks

4th September 2017

The Green Party today called on the Government to bring forward the planned review of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 following a reported rise in the number of attacks on sex workers since the law’s enactment.
Speaking today, Green Party Justice Spokesperson, Councillor Roderic O’Gorman said: “The first priority must be to take action to address the significant increase in attacks and threats of violence against sex workers. Both sides in the debate about the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act, 2017 acknowledge that there has been a spike in incidents. It is absolutely essential that An Garda Síochána prioritises the investigation of these offences. Sex workers are a highly vulnerable group and must be entitled to the full protection of the law.
“During the debate on the Criminal Law Act, the Green Party flagged our concerns that the criminalisation of sex work had actually led to increased violence against sex workers in other countries. There is now some evidence that a similar trend is occurring here. The act contains a section which requires its operation to be reviewed within 3 years to examine its impact on people working in prostitution. I am calling on the Minister for Justice to bring forward the date for the commencement of this review, in light of the recent spate of attacks.”