Friday, September 18, 2009

Focus on Ireland: Charity Reports Rise in Prostitution

Irish television ad produced by Ruhama, an Irish group that helps women affected by trafficking and prostitution

IRELAND - Ireland's underground sex industry is being fuelled by technology as vulnerable young women are forced to work as prostitutes from apartments, Ruhama said today.

The charity said it is harder to reach victims of the sex trade as criminals hold them captive in flats and houses all over the country.

Over the last two years 341 vulnerable women who have been forced into prostitution have been supported by Ruhama. Volunteers believe that number is just the tip of the iceberg, with hundreds more trapped in covert underground operations.

Director of Ruhama Kathleen Fahy said ten years ago prostitution was very visible on the streets of Dublin.

"Today we are dealing with a predominantly indoor and more covert sex trade," said Ms Fahy. "Many women involved in prostitution are controlled by criminals. They are beaten, afraid and see no way out. These criminals now operate in a hidden world and use modern technology to control and market the women."

In its biennial report for 2007-2008, Ruhama revealed 100 women it helped were victims of trafficking, the majority from Nigeria. Six of those were aged under 18 years when they were brought in to Ireland and forced to have sex with men...


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