The Turn off the Red Light (TORL) Campaign successfully advocated for the introduction of new legislation in Ireland to address prostitution and trafficking. It advocated for the introduction of legislation – the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act, 2017 – that criminalised the purchase of sexual acts, in addition to increasing penalties for pimping and procuring. In recognition of the vulnerability of those exploited in prostitution, the campaign was also successful in securing the decriminalisation of prostituted persons as part of the same legislation. TORL continues to advocate for the full and effective implementation of the 2017 Act in Ireland, particularly to ensure that it has the intended normative effect of deterring those who purchase sex, in turn shrinking the market for this seriously harmful trade, thereby reducing the number of vulnerable women and girls exploited within it.
SPACE was first formed in Ireland, in 2012, for the purpose of changing social attitudes towards prostitution and pressing for its recognition as a sexually exploitative human rights violation. In 2013 SPACE expanded internationally, taking on representatives from all corners of the globe. All representatives have lived experiences of the sex trade, and many of them have extensive experience of frontline work in combating prostitution and offering exit services to prostituted women and girls. All of its members are outspoken public abolitionist activists, pressing for the Abolitionist (Nordic or Equality) Model of prostitution legislation in their own regions of the world. Ruhama is proud to support and work with SPACE International in elevating the voices of survivors to achieve their abolitionist goals.
- Advocate for the adoption and implementation of progressive legislation and international standards that amplify efforts to eliminate the sexual exploitation of women and girls
- Deliver effective protection, support and exit options to prostituted persons and victims of trafficking
- Empower frontline services and survivors of prostitution.
CAP International empowers its members in their capacity to obtain progressive legal reforms in their countries and to be heard internationally. As an active member of CAP International, Ruhama has a voting right within its General Assembly and our Policy and Communications Manager, Amanda Keane, also serves as a board member of the coalition.