Fear of jail time or 'name in papers' major deterrents to buying sex

Criminal conviction and publicity are the major deterrents for buyers of sex in Ireland.

Results of an Immigrant Council of Ireland survey also showed that one in four buyers of sex in Ireland believed prostitutes were trafficked, controlled or underage.

The majority of buyers had paid for sex when abroad, mostly in Britain, Germany, the Netherlands and Thailand, showing that buyers are attracted to destinations where prostitution has been legalised or is tolerated.

The survey also found that those who used prostitutes were most likely to be middle-aged men who had completed third level education and were earning more than €20,000.

Chief executive of the Immigrant Council of Ireland Denise Charlton said: "The highest deterrent would be the fear of a criminal record, jail time or their name in a paper, echoing the findings of other countries, where they have implemented law on that basis."

She added that in Ireland: "The organised criminal underpinning of the sex trade has become very apparent...Our law is no longer fit for purpose."

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