Concerns for sex trafficking in Limerick city, report finds

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

Vania Alexandrova-Jovic, anti trafficking intern, Karen McHugh, CEO Doras Luimni, Martina Rosenthal, Limerick school of art and design, who designed the cover of the report and Patricia Stapleton, anti trafficking officer at the launch of the report on trafficking in Limerick. Picture: Adrian Butler
A SUPPORT group for migrants has made over 500 contacts with prostitutes on the streets of Limerick and remains concerned about women trafficked into the city for sexual exploitation.

A SUPPORT group for migrants has made over 500 contacts with prostitutes on the streets of Limerick and remains concerned about women trafficked into the city for sexual exploitation.

Doras Luimni, the support group for all migrants across the Mid-West, has launched its new report, entitled No Chances, No Choice - Human Trafficking and Prostitution in Limerick, Key Issues and Challenges.

The report details that between January to December 2013 they held 82 outreach sessions, in conjunction with the sexual health charity GOSHH, with 520 separate contacts with women and men affected by prostitution.

The highest age range was between 20 to 29, and the majority – some 93% – were of Romanian origin. The next highest proportion of women working on the street were Irish, followed by Eastern European, Spanish and African.

The highest recorded number of on-streets contacts by the outreach team was 17 different women in one night in August 2013.

As of September 2013, the outreach team met with between four to five women per night, and outreach is now conducted one night a week. The outreach workers have also met with men and transgender people engaged in on-street prostitution.

“The on-street scene in Limerick appears to be highly organised and there are very obvious signs of control, including a hierarchy among the women and various handlers and pimps, who tend to be male,” stated the report by Patricia Stapleton, Doras Luimni’s anti-trafficking officer.

“Irish women involved in prostitution tend to be drug and alcohol users and service users at homeless accommodation services. For the most part, migrant women did not appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while working on the street.” The report also details the cases of 10 human trafficking cases.