Thomas Pringle, independent TD for Donegal South West, called the new Oireachtas committee report on prostitution “a positive step towards the criminalisation of the purchasers of sexual services”.
He said it was a welcome development that the Oireachtas Justice, Defence and Equality Committee had accepted much of the recommendations in relation to the findings of Swedish legislation that looked to cut demand by criminalising the purchaser of services and not the person who sells such services.
He said submissions were received on the issue for the past year and hearings earlier this year heard a broad range of views. In May, Deputy Pringle’s bill on criminalising the purchase of sexual services was debated in the Dáil, giving rise to renewed discussion.
He called the report’s recommendations, “a validation of the need to shift the focus of the law from those who are vulnerable and exploited in prostitution towards the sex buyers, and I am heartened that this firm standpoint will be brought directly to the Minister for Justice.”
However, he said, it was important now for legislation to be developed in line with the recommendations, and “vital that Minister Shatter proceeds on foot of this report without delay.”