Justice Chair to call girl: Would you not rather do it for free?

Jan 31, 2014
Sex Trafficking
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On 9th January 2013 the Justice Committee of the Northern Ireland Assembly met to consider a Human Trafficking Bill. Evidence was taken from Ruhama and Turn of the Red Light – charities that work to support or rescue sex workers in Ireland and Northern Ireland – and from one sex worker from the International Union of Sex Workers.


The meeting with Ms Lee of IUSW was minuted thusly:

Ms Lee outlined the key issues in the International Union of Sex Workers submission on
the clauses and schedule of the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Further Provisions
and Support for Victims) Bill.

A detailed question and answer session followed covering issues including: the membership of the International Union of Sex Workers including its Northern Ireland membership;the main supporters and funders of the Union; the extent of coercion in the sex industry; the number of deaths of sex workers in Amsterdam and Sweden; whether the sex trade would be driven underground as a result of the proposed new law; the possible implications if Clause 6 was introduced; how the reported £30 million profit from the sex trade in Northern Ireland is distributed; the extent of violence in the sex industry; the stigma associated with sex work and the reasons why it could increase under the proposed new legislation; the legal definition of trafficking and what it meant in practice; the Swedish model and its effect;the trade union organizations to which the International Union of Sex Workers is affiliated and their differing views on the proposed new law; the extent to which people with disabilities use prostitutes; and whether sex workers rights should be protected.

The briefing was recorded by Hansard

The Chairman thanked Ms Lee and she left the meeting.

Ms Lee is a part-time sex worker and an activist for the rights of prostitutes. After Ms Lee was entertained by a discussion about whether her rights should be protected by the law, she was, perhaps understandably, more than slightly annoyed. The dry minute fails to reflect the incandescent anger I might feel if the Justice Committee (no less) chose to have a conversation about whether my rights were worth protecting. Thank God I’m English because this was not the worst question – that brief exchange does not turn up in the minutes.

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Ernest Greene
Ernest Greene
10 years ago

Ruhama has been the target of blistering exposes for faking ”’testimony” from women they paid to claim to have been trafficked. The anti-trafficking racket is a racket all its own and the more publicity they get the more they make off telling lies.

Good to see these lying, greedy sensation sellers get a good pushing back from someone who actually knows the facts.

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