The Law

Laws work when you keep them

Following years of campaigning, prostitution laws changed in Ireland under Part IV of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017. This means that it is it is now no longer against the law to sell so-called ‘sexual services’ but it is a criminal offence to purchase sex.

Part IV of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 states: a person who pays, gives, offers or promises to pay or give a person (including a prostitute) money or any other form of remuneration or consideration for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity with a prostitute shall be guilty of an offence.

The majority of those who purchase sex in Ireland are middle aged, educated men who are in relationships.

One of the most effective deterrents for those who pay for sexual access is the risk of arrest and exposure.

That means that if you are caught you will be arrested and charged. You may have to appear in court. And explain it to your family.

But maybe they’ll believe you when you say you only wanted the girlfriend experience. Or that you thought the woman was there by choice. Or that you think prostitution is a job like any other.

But I wouldn’t count on it.

Sign the Declaration

According to a recent nationwide Red C survey, the majority of Irish people agree.

  • Women in prostitution experience violence and abuse.
  • The law making the purchase of sex illegal is a good idea.
  • The Gardaí need more resources to enforce it.

The law is working, with increasing numbers of arrests and prosecutions of men who pay for sex and who commit acts of violence against women in prostitution. The law has shifted its focus from those who are in the sex trade to those who exploit them.

But, it needs more resourcing so that the Gardaí can continue to enforce the law as they want to.