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Globalisation, Sex Trafficking and Prostitution - The Irish situation

The Immigrant Council of Ireland
recently published important research entitled “Globalisation, Sex Trafficking and Prostitution - The experiences of migrant women in Ireland” (2009). This research was carried out in collaboration with the Women’s Health Project (HSE) and Ruhama, by kelleher associates, O’Connor and Pillinger and informs the work of the Dignity project.
The report presents stark evidence of the traffi cking of women into and through Ireland for the purpose of sexual exploitation. It shines a light on the reality that large numbers of migrant women are being sexually exploited in indoor prostitution in Ireland and experiencing severe emotional, physical and psychological harm. Over a 21 month period in 2007/08, 102 women and girls presented at services who, using the internationally agreed defi nition, are considered victims of traffi cking. Some of the key fi ndings of the research include:

  • Factors that put women at risk of traffi cking and prostitution in countries of origin include poverty, family dislocation, childhood abuse,war & violence. Deception was a key factor in the recruitment of women and children, and many women experienced prostitution, rape, brutality and imprisonment prior to arriving in Ireland.
  • Women were forced or deceptively recruited into the prostitution industry upon arrival in Ireland. None of the women were aware that they were being recruited specifi cally to work in the sex industry before they arrived.
  • 11 of the women were minors at the time they were brought into Ireland.
  • Having been traffi cked into the Irish sex industry, women’s experiences include: captivity, isolation, shame, betrayal, beatings, rape and other forms of sexual abuse.

The report recommends an integrated approach to prostitution and sex traffi cking in Ireland, and highlights the need for improved supports, services and protection for victims. Women need better access to services such as health care, psychological support and accommodation, as well as opportunities to exit prostitution and abuse safely, including recovery and refl ection periods and protection from deportation or prosecution. The Immigrant Council of Ireland is a human rights organization and an independent law centre. It advocates for the rights of immigrants and acts as a catalyst for public debate and policy change. For more information and to order a copy of the research please contact Nusha at:nusha@immigrantcouncil.ie

The Immigrant Council of Ireland Report
Globalisation, Sex Trafficking and Prostitution - The experiences of migrant women in Ireland” (2009).


The Dignity Project - Introduction
Globalisation, Sex Trafficking and Prostitution - The Irish Situation ( The Immigrant Council of Ireland)
Dignity EU Project Partners
Other groups working with Dignity in Ireland