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Ruhama | Supporting women affected by prostitution and trafficking

Advocacy, Awareness, Campaigns & Media

Ruhama is committed to raising awareness on issues surrounding prostitution, sex trafficking and other forms of commercial sexual exploitation in Ireland. Our direct work with women affected by prostitution gives us a significant insight into this complex social issue.

Ruhama regards prostitution in the context of sexual exploitation, as a form of gender-based violence and as a human rights issue. Ruhama supports a legislative framework that decriminalises those in prostitution as vulnerable persons, but criminalises activities related to organising prostitution and fuelling demand. To bring about necessary changes to legislation and government policies, we network with state agencies, civil society groups, survivor activists and non-governmental organisations. We contribute to national media and other relevant publications.

Our Advocacy, Awareness Raising and Campaigning work includes:

  • Highlighting the demand in the sex trade, calling on the positive implementation of the Sexual Offences Act 2017 which criminalises the purchase of sexual services and decriminalises those prostituted. 
  • Addressing the widespread stereotyping and blaming of women and the stigma attached, which isolates women and limits their opportunities to progress
  • Raising awareness of the harm caused by prostitution to those in prostitution and to society as a whole, by stimulating discussion and debate among the wider public
  • Delivery of training and awareness sessions to groups on the issue of prostitution and trafficking
  • Preparing submissions and reports highlighting the experiences of women affected by prostitution and trafficking
  • Engaging in research and organising seminars on specific issues associated with prostitution and sex trafficking
  • Engaging with domestic and international networks and organisations to coordinate activities and advocate for policy positions at international levels, that recognise the harm of prostitution and target demand

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