The Sex Trade in Northern Ireland: The Creation of a Moral Panic

Ellison, Graham, The Sex Trade in Northern Ireland: The Creation of a Moral Panic (December 2, 2012).

Full article available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2184040 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2184040
Abstract:
This short paper deals with current plans to introduce the ‘Swedish Model’ of criminalizing the payment for sex in Northern Ireland as a means of preventing human trafficking. The paper suggests debates about the sex trade have reached moral panic proportions in Northern Ireland. The proposed legislation is critiqued on the following grounds: that the police already have enough powers to deal with human trafficking in Northern Ireland; that the Bill conflates and confuses two entirely different activities (prostitution and trafficking); is premised on a narrow abolitionist perspective that in Northern Ireland draws upon strands of far right religious fundamentalism; and that it is out of line with policy developments occurring elsewhere in the UK.

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