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Question

54. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his views on reports by an organisation (details supplied) that there has been an increase in violence towards workers in the sex industry; his further views on whether the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 may be contributing to these incidents; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42440/18]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As outlined in my reply of 2nd October 2018 to a similar question (Ref 39752/18), 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, 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 organisation in question, in common with other interested parties, has recently 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. Question No. 55 answered with Question No. 25.