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Trafficking of humans cannot be dismissed

I find it hard to take seriously the words of Dr Graham Ellison in his Opinion piece "The prostitution proposal needs kicked to the kerb" (15/10).

Dr Ellison seems to be of the opinion that Lord Morrow's Human Trafficking and Exploitation Bill should be shelved because the numbers of victims are too low, and in fact hints that the individuals involved in the sex trade are, in the majority, there because it is their lifestyle choice.

Let there be no mistake, human trafficking is real. A 2002 report from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe said many drug trafficking gangs were switching to people trafficking because the risk was much lower. The low prosecution rate is reason enough to tighten the law.

Dr Ellison's second argument seems to stem from his desire to allow non-trafficked prostitution to continue. I wonder does he have a thought for the 95% of prostitutes whose pimps have ensured they are addicted to Class A drugs, or the 50% who have been raped or sexually assaulted?

The third argument stems from his lack of faith in the legislatures of other countries. A change in Swedish legislation which criminalised the purchaser of sex, whilst decriminalising the supplier, led to a reduction in the percentage of men purchasing anyone for prostitution from 13.6% in 1996 to 8% in 2008.

Andy Milligan

Ballymena

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