EPISODE 28: ROSCOMMON: Who are our sex work laws really protecting?

There’s been a recent spate of targeted violent attacks on sex workers across Ireland with the primary aim of theft. Charges have been brought against 3 men in Roscommon as part of Operation Quest. But surely our laws protect all workers from attack?

Well, in 2017, legislation was introduced in Ireland to criminalise the purchase of sex. This was seen as a victory in some quarters for women’s rights, and as a positive move to try and tackle the issues around women being trafficked.

But many sex workers say that criminalising the purchase of sex drives sex work further underground and that the environment they work within becomes more dangerous.

Conner Habib is a sex work’s rights advocate, the host of the fantastic Against Everyone with Conner Habib, and author, lecturer, a Dubliner for the past year, and the only person (that we know of) who has won awards for writing, teaching, AND porn.

With the recent decriminalisation of sex work in the Northern Territory in Australia by NT Attorney-General Natasha Fyles who said the new act was about keeping workers safe, we want to talk broadly today about sex work laws internationally, what philosophies underpin them, and what is best practice in terms of protecting the multiple rights that stem from sex work across the board.