PQ: Human Trafficking (Recommendations)

Wed, May 14, 2014

148. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if she will advance the unanimous recommendations of the Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality 11 months ago to introduce laws targeting the buyers of sex to curb exploitation, abuse and human trafficking; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

164. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when she will conclude the review of the laws on prostitution, in view of the fact that it is now almost 12 months since the Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality unanimously supported targeting demand to end exploitation, abuse and human trafficking; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I propose to take Questions Nos. 148 and 164 together.

The Deputies will appreciate that I have not yet had an opportunity to review this matter.

Following the publication of the report of the Justice Committee in June last year, the committee was requested to clarify and elaborate some of its recommendations for a new approach to prostitution legislation. The relevant correspondence with the committee was concluded in December.

The advices of the Attorney General and the views of the Minister for Health on the committee’s recommendations were received in February and March, respectively. The issue of prostitution has also been the subject of recent debate at EU and Council of Europe level.

Prostitution raises a wide spectrum of issues. When I have had the opportunity to properly consider all of these, legislative proposals will be brought to Government in the usual way.

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