Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Stephen Nolan apologises over sex slaves gaffe

BBC presenter Stephen Nolan issued a live on-air apology yesterday after asking whether the victims of human sex trafficking enjoyed their work.



The TV and radio star caused outrage for his remarks made during an interview with a spokesperson from human rights group Amnesty International about the international sex trade in young girls and women.

Amnesty's Fiona Smith had been explaining to the presenter how human trafficking was big business throughout Northern Ireland and the UK in general.

She said victims were arriving at the UK's borders where they were being “auctioned off at airports” for a lifetime of misery.

However, she was taken aback when the presenter, speaking on his BBC Radio Ulster Nolan show, asked her: “Would you not say that these girls enjoy the sex?” She told him that the victims of human trafficking had to endure being raped multiple times a day because they had not consented to sex and were being used as slaves.

“Many of these women are from Africa, south east Asia and eastern Europe and they are very traumatised after being raped many times a day,” Ms Smith said.

She was speaking following a police operation in Belfast last week in which two victims of human sex trafficking were rescued.

Nolan later apologised for his remarks as it emerged that listeners had complained to the BBC about his comments.

He said: “I got confused earlier in the show when I asked if these women ever enjoy their job and if they enjoy the sex.

“Of course they don't enjoy if if it is forced upon them and I just want to say sorry.”

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