Turn Off the Red Light members joined by TDs and Senators outside of Leinster House to mark EU Anti-Trafficking Day 2013


Cork campaigners join Turn Off the Red Light Campaign

Cork Feminista brings membership to 70 organisations

Statement by Cork Feminista and the Immigrant Council of Ireland


Cork Feminista, a voluntary feminist organisation, has announced that it is joining the Turn Off the Red Light Campaign which seeks to curb exploitation, abuse and trafficking for sexual exploitation with laws targeting the buyers of sex.


The decision brings the number of member organisations across the country to 70, with ASCEND Domestic Abuse Service Tipperary joining the campaign last month. It comes as campaigners both locally and nationally are preparing to mark the first anniversary of the Oireachtas Justice Committee report which unanimously backed sex buyer laws.


The Committee is chaired by Cork Fine Gael TD, David Staunton.


Making the announcement, Liz Madden of Cork Feminista said:


“There has been much debate on the future course of Irish law in terms of prostitution and the issues involved are complex, however the evidence shows that this is a ‘trade’ which depends on exploitation, abuse and even violence to make profits for criminals.


We have reached our decision after listening to the testimony of survivors – who have played an invaluable part in the national debate by agreeing to retell their horrific experiences.


It is these women who have provided the most compelling evidence that threats, abuse and rape are commonplace in the sex trade, and that prostitution is incompatible with human dignity.


We are proud to join a coalition which reflects every part of Irish society, including the trade union movement and employers, and believes that prostitution is exploitation not employment.


Cork Feminista will work with other Turn Off the Red Light partners to ensure that politicians locally continue their support for the change in the law.


Welcoming the news Nusha Yonkova, Anti Trafficking Co-ordinator with the Immigrant Council of Ireland added:


“As one of the founding members of the Turn Off the Red Light campaign we have watched it grow to the position where it now enjoys huge public and political support.


Cork has always been at the forefront of our efforts with local members of organisations such as the IMO, the INMO, Macra Na Feirme, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Chambers Ireland and many others playing their part.


In addition the City Council has also passed a motion of support.  We welcome the members of Cork Feminista and in particular the support they can provide by raising this important issue with candidates as we approach the local and European elections.”




Turn Off The Red Light is a campaign to end prostitution in Ireland now, and to end sex trafficking to Ireland. We are campaigning to criminalise the purchase of sex. Learn more about the campaign here.

Women and children are exploited in Ireland’s sex industry. Some have been trafficked into Ireland in order to be made work in the sex industry.

Very few women choose to willingly engage in prostitution. Most who are involved have had very few real choices.

Some argue that prostitution is a harmless, commercial transaction between consenting adults. That women choose to become involved in prostitution and should have the freedom to do so. We refute this. Learn more about countries where the purchase of sex has been criminalised here.

Women involved in prostitution suffer severe physical and emotional harm from providing sex to multiple partners on a daily basis.

They are vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections, and to violent attack and the threat of violence.

They often live under the control over those who run the prostitution agency, and do not know to whom they are expected to provide sex, or what might be demanded from them at any moment. This can lead to extreme isolation and a sense of shame. Learn more about the myths and facts of prostitution here.

The campaign to “turn off the red light” is being run by an alliance of Irish non-governmental organisations. Learn more here.

Download our leaflet here



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