We call on the Northern Ireland Assembly to change the law so that anyone convicted of using a trafficked person for sex faces prison and being put on the sex-offenders register.
Why the need for a campaign? Section 15 of The Policing and Crime Act 2009 introduced the offence of ‘paying for sexual services of a prostitute (you can read trafficked victim) subjected to force...’ At the moment the maximum punishment for this crime is a fine of £1,000.
It’s a scandal that someone who effectively rapes a trafficked person faces a lesser punishment than a driver who drives without insurance or someone who rides a train without a ticket.
We're not calling for brand new legislation, the law is already in place and this is a strict liability offence - it is no excuse to say you didn't know the person was trafficked. A £1,000 fine is no deterrent. It sends out completely the wrong message to men who are using or are tempted to use trafficked women. Prison and being added to the sex offenders register will send a strong clear message that using trafficked woman for sex is wrong. If we kill demand, we will kill trafficking.
We are starting in Northern Ireland, but we hope that this campaign will spread throughout the UK and Ireland and beyond. Will you play your part in ending modern day slavery?
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Evangelical Alliance Northern Ireland www.eauk.org/northern-ireland