For immediate release
Children’s Rights Alliance says Sexual Offences Bill is Critical to Protecting Children from Grooming and Exploitation
The Children’s Rights Alliance warmly welcomes the publication of today’s new Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015 as a critical step towards protecting our children from grooming, exploitation and abuse. Welcoming today’s publication of the Bill, it said the legislation will combat the exploitation of boys and girls. It says the law will bring Ireland into line with a growing international trend and send out the message that Ireland is not a soft target for paedophiles, pimps and traffickers.
Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance added: “We know from the testimony of prostitution survivors and women who have been trafficked that children are being abused in brothels in this country. Many of those who were exploited admit they were targeted by pimps as young teens. 13 of the 45 suspected victims of trafficking identified in 2014 were children. The introduction of sex buyer laws will crush demand for these human rights abuses and, more importantly, it will send out the message to human traffickers that Ireland is joining the growing list of countries that are setting out to wreck the business model for their crimes.
We will be listening to our member organisations who are at the frontline protecting and supporting victims, while at the same time we will be calling on politicians to secure the law and make this a reality by Christmas.
The commitment to reform the law on incest and combat child grooming is also welcome, and will protect our young people both in the community and online. Prof. Geoffrey Shannon, the Special Rapporteur on Child Protection has called for action on these areas for many years.
Our laws in this area were written for another era and are woefully inadequate. We welcome the commitment of the Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald TD to act to protect children from those intent on sexual abuse and harm, and we urge her to proceed as swiftly as possible.”
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