Call to outlaw paying for sex

A major conference in Dublin on sex trafficking is calling on the government to make it illegal to pay for sex.

A review of the law on prostitution is an opportunity to send a 'strong message' to those who control the sex trade in Ireland, say organisers.

Trade minister Joe Costello will speak at the conference.

He will hear, say the organisers, that most women working in prostitution in Ireland are migrants.

Denise Charlton, of the Immigrant Council of Ireland said: "We know that 97% of women in prostitution here are migrants, often tricked into travelling to Ireland under the false pretence of a better life."

Referring to recently published consultation paper, she added: "Ireland now has a unique opportunity to address a shortfall in the law which has allowed this sordid trade to grow.

"We are asking all like-minded groups and individuals to join us and either through public statement or by making a submission to tell the government the only way to end this trade is to cut off supply by prosecuting men who purchase sex."