Women’s organisations stand together in support of Northern Ireland’s progressive anti-trafficking law

Following the release on September 18th, 2019, of research commissioned by Northern Ireland’sDepartment of Justice and carried out by Queen’s University into section 15 of the Northern Ireland Human Trafficking and Exploitation Act 2015, national and international women’s rightsorganisations have come together in support of the existing law.

Under this section, Northern Ireland became the first jurisdiction in the UK to make paying for sexual services a criminal offence.

Northern Ireland’s legislation provides a strong foundation for actions to address sexual exploitation and human trafficking, however there have been considerable barriers to effective implementation of the new law.

In the report, “Assessment of impact criminalisation of purchasing sexual services”, we disagree with the Queen’s researchers’ conclusion that the law criminalising the purchase of sexual services is ineffective, rather it is effective implementation which needs to be further developed. Despite the barriers, PSNI statistics show that there have been more crimes recorded and more arrests and consequences for those who have committed the new offence than there were for the previous offence of paying for sex with a person subject to force, showing that the police can and do use this law to a positive effect. We welcome the comment from the PSNI that the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Act is “a useful piece of legislation.” We welcome new training initiatives beingdeveloped by the PSNI and call on all other relevant agencies to make implementation of the Act a priority.

IFHR’s chairperson states: “The lack of support in this research for legal and other measures that discourage the demand forwomen for the purpose of sexual exploitation is particularly disturbing. Discouraging demand is an approach that is obligatory under international human trafficking treaties and proven to be effectivein preventing the sexual exploitation of women in a number of other countries. ”

The full press release is available here.

Advertisements

IF&HR participates in the consultation for a new CEDAW General Recommendation on trafficking in women and girls

This week, the Institute for Feminism & Human Rights submitted a written comment on the proposed United Nations CEDAW General Recommendation on trafficking in women and girls in the context of global migration. The General Recommendation, which is to be concluded in 2020, is to provide guidance to State Parties on how to ensure full compliance with their obligations to respect, protect and fulfil women’s human right in the context of global migration.

Link to the CEDAW Committee consultation webpage: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CEDAW/Pages/GRTrafficking.aspx

IFHR case study for the Disrupt Demand project published

This Disrupt Demand paper is based on stakeholder interviews and on a roundtable held in Stockholm in March 2018 hosted by the Swedish National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings and the Institute for Feminism and Human Rights on the cooperation between NGOs and Police in campaigns leading to legal change and during the implementation of laws targeting the demand for human trafficking for sexual exploitation. The IFHR Disrupt Demand case study is available here.

The Disrupt Demand project successfully concluded

The Institute for Feminism and Human Rights has been a partner in the Disrupt Demand project for the past two years.

The Disrupt Demand project, which is funded by the European Commission, was initiated by six NGOs from across Europe seeking to identify and promote best practices to prevent and combat human trafficking for sexual exploitation. The NGO group includes research organizations and frontline service providers, who assist victims of human trafficking.

Disrupt Demand is designed to supportefforts to prevent human trafficking for sexual exploitation by reducing demand. To achieve this aim, we apply a combination of legal strategy research, and fostering cooperation among key stakeholders. 

Disrupt Demand recognizes the harm inherent to the international trade in human beings for the purpose of prostitution, fueled by the demand for sexual services. By reducing demand, we can prevent women, girls, boys and men from entering into the prostitution trade.

Project Partners
Immigrant Council of Ireland, IRELAND
Institute for Feminism and Human Rights, SWEDEN
Klaipeda Social and Psychological Services Center, LITHUANIA
Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies, CYPRUS
Mouvement du Nid, FRANCE
Exit – pois prostituutiosta ry / Prostitution Association, FINLAND

More information about the project is available on the project website here.

The Disrupt Demand project comparative report can be downloaded.

 

 

Disrupt Demand seminar: ‘Collaboration between law enforcement and NGO’s to prevent and discourage demand: practical aspects’

       

The Institute for Feminism and Human Rights and the National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings hosted a one-day working seminar focusing on prostitution and trafficking in human beings in Stockholm on Monday 5 March.

The aim of the seminar was to allow the participants to discuss good practices in NGO and law enforcement collaboration to progress and implement legislative reforms in the context of demand reduction.

Representatives of law enforcement and NGO’s from Ireland and Sweden presented case studies documenting good practice in police and prosecution services collaboration with front line service providers on human trafficking investigations. The case studies promoted mutual learning and exchange between two countries that have and are building experience in a legal context where the demand for sexual services is criminalized. 

Representatives of Swedish NGO’s and frontline service providers for victims of prostitution and trafficking in human beings for sexual purposes were present to share their experiences. This included representatives from the Swedish Salvation Army and Talita. Representatives of NGO’s active in advocacy for legislative change from France, Finland, Cyprus, Ireland and Lithuania also participated in the seminar.

About the Disrupt Demand project
The Disrupt Demand project, which is funded by the European Commission, was initiated by six NGOs from across Europe seeking to identify and promote best practices to prevent and combat human trafficking for sexual exploitation. The NGO group includes research organizations and frontline service providers, who assist victims of human trafficking.

Disrupt Demand is designed to supportefforts to prevent human trafficking for sexual exploitation by reducing demand. To achieve this aim, we apply a combination of legal strategy research, and fostering cooperation among key stakeholders. 

Disrupt Demand recognizes the harm inherent to the international trade in human beings for the purpose of prostitution, fueled by the demand for sexual services. By reducing demand, we can prevent women, girls, boys and men from entering into the prostitution trade.

Project Partners
Immigrant Council of Ireland, IRELAND
Institute for Feminism and Human Rights, SWEDEN
Klaipeda Social and Psychological Services Center, LITHUANIA
Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies, CYPRUS
Mouvement du Nid, FRANCE
Exit – pois prostituutiosta ry / Prostitution Association, FINLAND

Good News from Scotland!

We are absolutely delighted that the Scottish National Party Conference today passed a resolution that” supports the development of a Scottish model of legislation that (1) decriminalises the sale of sex, (2) criminalises the purchase of sex and (3) offers appropriate support for those wishing to exit commercial sexual exploitation.”

Recent article in Le Monde Diplomatique: “On the Streets or in a House?”

Tags

, , ,

The article, “On the Streets or in a House? Sweden criminalised the purchase of sex; Germany preferred to legalise brothels,” in which our chairperson, Gunilla S. Ekberg is quoted, was published in French in Le Monde Diplomatique in December 2016, and on 12 January 2017 in English.

The PDF is available here.