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Beer Mats to Highlight Sex Trafficking
Testimony of trafficking survivor highlighted in awareness campaign
Bars urged to give their support
Statement by the Immigrant Council of Ireland
Beer mats which highlight the reality of sex-trafficking are being made available to bars to inform drinkers of the reality of the exploitation in prostitution, according to the Immigrant Council of Ireland.
The awareness campaign uses the testimony of a survivor of human trafficking and is primarily targeting young men.
Under a project supported by the European Commission and led by the Immigrant Council thousands of beer mats are being made available to bars, hotels and other outlets which serve alcohol.
Speaking at the launch of the campaign, Denise Charlton, Chief Executive of the Immigrant Council of Ireland said:
“This is a direct way to reach out to young men who under the influence of drink may have reduced inhibitions, false courage or allow themselves to be subjected to peer pressure to end their night at a local brothel.
Through the beer mats we are making clear the reality which exists for many in the sex ‘trade’.
By placing the real testimony of a teen sold into prostitution for €3,000 and ‘forced to have sex with 15 men a day’ in front of young drinkers we believe most will reject this exploitation.
In addition the flipside contains a special emergency email firstname.lastname@example.org to report suspicions of trafficking.
The message is hard-hitting – but so is the reality of prostitution and it is important to make men aware of that. We are pleased with the reaction of publicans with mats in place in Central Dublin and would encourage others to get involved.
This just one of a number of initiatives the Immigrant Council of Ireland has undertaken under the European Commission ‘StopTraffick’ project in order to highlight the role buyers and demand for prostitution are playing in fuelling crime and abuse.
A special training programme has also been developed for organisations in industries such as hospitality, transport and others whose staff or members suspect that victims of human trafficking are being sold for prostitution in their premises.
The Immigrant Council will be working with student representatives and trade unions in the months ahead to promote both the programme and the beer mat awareness campaign.”