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Hate campaign targets sex trafficking victim Featured

Saturday, 23 November 2013 20:00 // 7225
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By Eamon Dillon

Anna's story was verified by UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency

A VICTIM of sex-traffickers became the target of a hate-filled internet campaign this week after she revealed her horrifying ordeal in sleazy Irish brothels.

Desperate to protect their multi-million euro business pimps on both sides of the border have been fighting against campaigns to make it illegal to buy sex.

Last week the Sunday World published an interview with 'Anna' who told how she was abducted in London in 2011 and forced into the Irish sex-trade.

The brutal Romanian pimps controlled her for nine months until she finally was able to escape by going to work for an Irish crime gang.

Her story reveals the nasty nature of the vice trade in which women are trafficked to Ireland to work in brothels controlled by criminal gangs.

One comment from a website connected to convicted pimp Peter McCormick referred to the 24-year-old trafficking victim as a “thing.”

They branded her story as “a fairy-tale” despite her story verified by the Serious Organised Crime Agency and the UK Human Trafficking Centre.

But this week Anna rubbished the argument that tougher laws would drive the sex-trade underground.

“It is already hidden, it is already covered up. The pimps think they own the country,” she said.

“This can happen to any girl, people need to realise this,” added Anna.

She also said the PSNI could do more to help trafficking victims and questioned if they knew what had happened to other 'rescued' women.

The young Romanian woman is due to meet PSNI officers next week to address her fears over the lack of police protection and their failure to organise medical treatment.

This week TD Padraig MacLochlainn, who is a member of a Dail committee that investigated the sex-trade, wants Ireland to adopt similar laws as those in Sweden.

The Donegal deputy said stories of trafficking such as Anna's “reinforces the determination” of those politicians and people who want to see tougher legislation introduced.

“You have an all-party and unanimously endorsed report calling for the Swedish model in which the men who buy sex would be criminalised,” he told the Sunday World.

The Dail committee also want laws to shut down websites and mobile phone numbers used for prostitution.

So far 21 local authorities have also supported calls to make it illegal to buy sex through official council motions.

The Immigrant Council of Ireland which is part of the Turn Off the Red Light Campaign this week called on the government to take action.

“The decisions of local councils to support the Turn Off the Red Light campaign again shows that communities in all parts of Ireland want pimps, traffickers and organised crime shut down,” said Denise Charlton, Chief Executive of the council.

She added that in the last 12 months there have been 48 victims of trafficking identified of which 23 were children and that “most victims were sexually exploited.”

“While we have been debating and making evidence based arguments for reforming laws which are not fit for purpose, the criminals have continued their exploitation,” she said.

Meanwhile a judge at Sligo District Court expressed his concerns at recent hearing about five women charged with prostitution.

Judge Kevin Kilrane said these were “sad cases” and added that: “There's usually a hidden hand somewhere.”

A solicitor for one of the women said there was a wider organised element behind the prostitution and explained her client had been moved from location to location.

Four of the women were fined €300 while another was allowed time to contact her mother for a ticket home to Romania. 

Last modified on Saturday, 23 November 2013 20:00
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