Wednesday, 12 October 2011
Human Trafficking and Prostitution: Motion
Mary White (Fianna Fail)
I am delighted to welcome the Minister of State. I am confident that whatever happens, at the end of the day she will take the right decision. I assure my colleagues that I firmly support the campaign to end sex trafficking in Ireland. I thank the Independent Senators for bringing this issue to the House again. We discussed it previously in the last Seanad and had a good debate on it. I sincerely believe, however, that the matter has to go beyond the Houses of the Oireachtas and become a national debate.
I support the Government's amendment to the motion because the motion is too hasty. Within my own party I have seen decisions being made too hastily to criminalise purchasers of sex. We must study the Swedish model in more detail. If women are disappearing off the streets, it means the problem is going underground. Realistically, this has been going on since the beginning of time. We have to face reality. I am not condoning it but since the beginning of time sex has been purchased. There is a case for saying that women are perhaps being protected from rape because in some countries prostitution is legalised. Senator O'Donnell should not be looking at me in amazement like that.