Joint Press Release from DRCC with Immigrant Council of Ireland & Ruhama

Friday, July 10th, 2015

Government Acceptance of Child Grooming Bill measures welcome

14-year jail sentences reflect seriousness of crimes

Sex buyer laws are next stop to putting pimps and traffickers out of business

Joint Statement by Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, Immigrant Council of Ireland and Ruhama

The Government acceptance of proposals to create an offence of child grooming with jail terms of up to 14-years is the first step towards curbing the activities of pimps, human traffickers and organised crime, according to frontline agencies.

The agencies were responding to a Dáil debate during which the Government said it would not oppose the Child Grooming Bill proposed by Fine Gael TD, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy.

In a joint statement the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, the Immigrant Council of Ireland and Ruhama said:

“The decision to accept the intent of the Child Grooming Bill put forward by Fine Gael TD, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy is very welcome as it not only sends out the message to abusers that they have no place to hide but it also brings Ireland into line with other European Countries.

By introducing an offence of grooming we can ensure that those who are guilty cannot escape justice by creating confusion with legal arguments in court. The jail terms of up to 14-years which are included in the measures underline the seriousness of the crimes involved and are welcome.

Deputy Corcoran Kennedy’s Bill represents one of the unanimous recommendations put forward by the Oireachtas Justice Committee as part of its review of the laws on prostitution – the next logical step is to introduce laws which reflect the others.

In particular we are asking that the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald, TD now honour her commitment to publish the Sexual Offences Bill, which includes laws targeting the buyers of sex.

Ireland’s opportunity to get to grips with these crimes has arrived, we owe it to the survivors of prostitution to ensure that it does not slip by.

As three frontline organisations we are committed to working with the 70 partners of the Turn Off the Red Light Campaign to ensure the full recommendations of the Justice Committee become reality.”

If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual violence please remember our National 24-Hour Helpline 1800 77 8888.

ENDS

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