Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 27 November 2014

Anti-trafficking campaign launched

Most recent figures show almost one in four of the 134 people trafficked in to Ireland for sexual exploitation in recent years were children
Most recent figures show almost one in four of the 134 people trafficked in to Ireland for sexual exploitation in recent years were children

A new campaign to highlight how young girls are being trafficked and forced into prostitution has been launched.

Real Men Don't Buy Girls is the message of the social media campaign by the Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI).

Most recent figures show almost one in four of the 134 people trafficked into Ireland for sexual exploitation in recent years were children.

Denise Charlton, ICI chief executive, said there is never any excuse for buying a girl, either here in Ireland or when travelling abroad with friends.

"The message of the campaign could not be clearer and reflects what we know most men believe, 'Real Men Don't Buy Girls'," she said.

"As a frontline agency we know that girls and young women are often being tricked into coming to Ireland only for the grim reality of their situation to dawn when they are picked up at Dublin Airport and forced into a life of selling their bodies.

"This is something no brother, young father or any man should find acceptable.

"Through this campaign we hope to get young men to reflect on this and ensure they are fully aware of the reality behind trafficking."

Several high-profile men, including broadcasters Daithi O Se and Ray Foley and comedians Bernard O'Shea and Eric Lalor, have backed the cause, which aims to make young men aware of trafficking both in Ireland and abroad.

Mr O Se said there is no acceptable level of sex trafficking.

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