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Sinn Féin publishes new law to ban sex-for-rent in Ireland

Dublin: The government is slow to introduce law to ban sex-for-rent.

Despite the announcement that the law will be implemented within a year and a half, the government has made no significant progress in this regard. Justice Minister Helen McEntee has stated that no fixed period has been set for bringing the law into force. Previously, the government stated that the law would be implemented within 18 months.

Sinn Féin with a Bill in Parliament

Sinn Féin TD Eoin O’Broin will introduce a bill in Parliament calling for it to be a criminal offence to seek sex for hire or advertise such arrangements.

The Dublin Mid-West TD said it had noticed some landlords taking advantage of the limited supply of rental homes and rising rents to sexually prey on desperate and vulnerable tenants. He is recommending legislation to amend the Residential Tenancy Act to make it a crime for a landlord to solicit sex in exchange for rent or advertise for such an arrangement.

The country was shocked when a secret report on the matter aired on national television’s Investigative Section.

Cian O’Callaghan, a Social Democrats TD, introduced another sex-for-rent ban bill in March 2022. Despite scrutiny, no progress has been made on the bill.

The government had said the Justice Department would look into the matter after reviewing prostitution laws. However, the review was unable to be completed last year. The researcher assigned to conduct the review did not complete the study. The minister also said that the process of appointing a new lead researcher to complete this is progressing.

Some landlords use people in financial distress to operate sex-for-rent arrangements. The minister said that this is a very scary thing. Proposals related to the law are being considered. The minister stated that it is not possible to predict when the law will be implemented.

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