Sex Buyer Laws Win Council Of Europe Support

Posted: 1st April, 2014

Criminalising purchase of sex ‘most effective tool’ to combat trafficking

Stop Traffick! Partners Immigrant Council of Ireland calls on Irish Government to respond



The Council of Europe has recognised that sex buyer laws are ‘the most effective tool for preventing and combating trafficking in human beings’ in a report which calls on all member states to consider such legislation.Council of Europe chamber


The report is the latest in a string of findings across Europe in favour of laws which target demand for prostitution.


The report by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe also calls for:


  • A ban on the advertising of sexual services, including forms of disguised advertising
  • Counselling centres providing prostitutes with legal and health assistance
  • Exit programmes for those who wish to give up prostitution


Welcoming the recommendations, Denise Charlton, Chief Executive of the Immigrant Council of Ireland said:


“The clear findings by the Council of Europe show once again that there is growing public and political momentum behind the introduction of sex buyer laws to shut down the biggest crime of our time.

The Council report comes on the back of the unanimous recommendations of the Oireachtas Justice Committee for such laws, as well as a vote in the French National Assembly and the European Parliament and the backing from all party committee of MPs in Westminster.


There is now widespread acceptance that these laws work and it is time for the Government here to act.”


Nusha Yonkova, Anti Trafficking Coordinator of the Immigrant Council of Ireland added:


“Once again politicians have examined how to curb trafficking and prostitution and have come to the conclusion that targeting demand, through sex buyer laws is the best way forward.


Ireland should now examine these recommendations together with the unanimous findings of the Oireachtas Justice Committee and act against a crime which takes up to €250m a year from the Irish economy.


As one of the founding members of the Turn Off the Red Light Campaign we have been greatly encouraged by the huge levels of public and political support we have received, with 68 organisations now backing our call.


It is time to act and shut down the pimps, traffickers and thugs.”


The report by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe can be accessed at