Wendy Lyon

Leaked Report: Self Serving NGO's Want to Perpetuate Rescue Industry, Not End Direct Provision

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Last week, it was revealed that four Irish NGOs – the Immigrant Council of Ireland, Nasc Irish Immigrant Support Centre, Focus Ireland and Sonas Housing – had submitted a report to the Minister for Justice about the accommodation of suspected sex trafficking victims in direct provision centres. While the report raises a number of very valid concerns, it’s unsurprising that one particular line has received the most attention – the allegation that “traffickers have used the asylum system for residency and accommodation while simultaneously trafficking victims”. The media focus on this uncorroborated claim is unfortunate (albeit totally predictable) at a time when asylum seekers’ complaints about their housing are finally starting to get the headlines they should have had for years.

 

So much for Solidarity - ICTU and sex workers

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In 2012 The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) made a submission to the Irish government’s public consultation on the prostitution laws. Most of it was just a cut-and-paste job of text sent to them by the Turn Off The Red Light campaign, which seeks the introduction of the Swedish model. But there is one part of ICTU’s original contribution which I found remarkable. A few paragraphs down the submission cites – clearly for the purpose of endorsing – the view of the Technical, Electrical & Engineering Union‘s General Secretary that “prostitution could not be considered work”.

 

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