‘Black Women Against the Sex Trade’ event to focus on Ireland’s global example in criminalising buyers of sex

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The global advocacy group SPACE International will host a webinar from Dublin entitled ‘Black Women Against the Sex Trade’ on Friday, 27th November 2020, from 1pm to 2pm.

The webinar will feature survivors of prostitution from the USA, the Netherlands and South Africa, speaking about the disproportionate impact of prostitution on women of colour, and why they are seeking to replicate Irish-style legislation – which criminalises buyers of sex – in their own countries.

The speakers at the webinar will be:

  • Mickey Meji from Cape Town, South Africa, a survivor of the sex trade, a leading human rights activist, and founder of Africa’s first prostitution survivor movement, the Survivor Empowerment and Support Programme.
  • Marian Hatcher from Chicago, USA, a survivor of sex trafficking and domestic violence, who has worked with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office for the past 13 years, where she is the Senior Project Manager for the Office of Public Policy, as well as the Human Trafficking Coordinator.
  • Roëlla Lieveld from Amsterdam, The Netherlands, the founder and director of Share Network, an organisation that creates opportunities for survivors of human trafficking to thrive.
  • Vednita Carter from St. Paul, USA, the founder of Breaking Free, a non-profit organisation that helps women escape sex trafficking and prostitution.

The event will be moderated by Salome Mbugua, founder of AkiDwA, Ireland’s migrant women’s network, and a member of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.

Commenting in advance of the event, Irishwoman Rachel Moran, founder of SPACE International, said:

“The most effective way to reduce prostitution is to address demand. In Ireland, a legal deterrent to purchasing sexual access to women was introduced in 2017 with the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act. This law has sent a clear signal to the organised crime gangs that run the Irish sex trade that sexual exploitation will not be tolerated by the authorities here. Across the world, prostitution survivors are campaigning for similar laws to be introduced. We will hear from some of those campaigners during Friday’s event.”

The SPACE International webinar is open for members of the public to attend, free of charge. Advance registration is required at: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/space-international-webinar-tickets-129019194885.

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