A sex worker has claimed that proposed reforms to Ireland’s laws on prostitution will make the industry even more dangerous for women.
“Criminalising any aspect of this industry could make it more dangerous,” Lady Grew said.
“We feel that sex work must be seen as legitimate work, and that criminalising any aspect of the industry creates a much more dangerous environment for all involved.”
She will outline her argument at Cork’s first Sexual Wellness conference this weekend.
Cork Feminista had invited speakers from the Turn Off the Red Light Campaign (TORLC) which aims to end prostitution, to address their conference. Beginning at 11am today and tomorrow, it will be held in Camden Palace Hotel.
Lady Grew, however, asked the organisers to include speakers from the sex trade to provide balance and she and two other sex workers were added to the bill.
But the move prompted the TORLC speakers to withdraw from the conference.
Lady Grew said: “The way I work is not against the law. I have to work alone, which is dangerous for me. I can’t pay a bodyguard, which is dangerous for me.
“We need more transparency in this industry; more interaction with the authorities, the various agencies and with gardaí; and less stigma.
“People have a moral issue with this business. But for me, it’s work that suits me best.
“Do people get involved out of desperation? We all work for money. Does that mean we are all desperate? This work suits me very, very well.