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Question

282. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his views on an analysis undertaken by a group (details supplied) that shows a 77% increase in violent crimes against sex workers since the enactment Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017. [39752/18]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act was enacted on 22 February 2017. Part 4 of the Act, which was commenced on 27 March 2017, provides for two new offences of purchasing sexual services in the context of prostitution. The purpose of these offences is to target the demand for prostitution. The part of the Act dealing with the purchase of sex is due to be reviewed in 2020, which review will include an assessment of the impact on the welfare of those who engage in sexual activity for payment, as well as statistics on prosecutions and convictions.
In relation to the Deputy's query, my officials have received a report from the group in question, which relates to crime reported to that group. I would encourage anyone who has been the subject of a violent crime, to report that incident to An Garda Síochána, and for any group with evidence of such crimes to present any data to An Garda Síochána.
The group has been given the opportunity to submit detailed proposals for funding for further research into the issue, with any such research expected to inform the aforementioned review.