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Man Appears In Court Charged With Paying for Sex in Northern Ireland

Commercial Sexual Exploitation
12 November 2020

A man has been charged with paying for sexual services in Northern Ireland in just the second case of its kind.

John Bergin was charged with paying for sexual services on 18 October this year at Newry Magistrates Court, according to the Belfast Telegraph.

A man and a woman have also appeared in the same court, charged with controlling prostitution for gain.

Pay­ing For Sex Law Cur­rently Unique to NI

What makes this case significant is that Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where paying for sexual services is a criminal offence. It's one of the reasons NI's human trafficking laws have been recognised as the gold standard for other countries to follow.

The Scottish Government is currently consulting on what approach to take to addressing demand for paid sex. CARE supports the approach used in Northern Ireland where the burden of blame is shifted to the buyer, rather than the seller.

Not For Sale: Is It Time Bri­tain Made It Illeg­al To Pay for Sex?

In a recently published long read, CARE's Naomi Marsden explores the question of whether it should be illegal to buy sex across Britain.

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Commercial Sexual Exploitation

We believe people were made for purpose, not purchase. Exploitation within the sex industry affects some of the most vulnerable in our society. CARE is working for better laws to protect them.

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