Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Questions (654, 698, 704, 705)

Kevin Humphreys

Question:

654. Deputy Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Justice and Equality her plans to introduce laws targeting sex buyers to end exploitation, abuse and trafficking; if her attention has been drawn to the fact that it is nearly a year since the publication of the report of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality on this matter; if she will take urgent action to implement legislation which would protect women and girls from exploitation and trafficking into the sex trade; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22346/14]

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Thomas Pringle

Question:

698. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Justice and Equality her plans for legislation on prostitution following the publication of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality report on prostitution here; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23141/14]

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Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

704. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when she will table a Bill regarding laws targeting sex buyers to end exploitation, abuse and trafficking; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23340/14]

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Billy Timmins

Question:

705. Deputy Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding legislation (details supplied) which would protect women and girls from exploitation and trafficking into the sex trade and putting pimps and traffickers out of business; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23394/14]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 654, 698, 704 and 705 together.

The Deputies will appreciate that I have not yet had an opportunity to fully review this matter. Following the publication of the report of the Justice Committee in June last year, the committee was requested to clarify and elaborate some of its recommendations for a new approach to prostitution legislation. The relevant correspondence with the committee was concluded in December.

The advices of the Attorney General and the views of the Minister for Health on the committee's recommendations were received in February and March, respectively. The issue of prostitution has also been the subject of recent debate at EU and Council of Europe level. Prostitution raises a wide spectrum of issues. When I have had the opportunity to properly consider all of these, legislative proposals will be brought to Government in the usual way.