Policy engagement

Key areas of impact

The SERP team:

  • Provides regular evidence-based briefings to the members of the Dáil and Seanad on matters relating to commercial sexual exploitation
  • Advises non-governmental and civil society organisations across Ireland on issues relating to prostitution and trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation
  • Regularly submits oral and written evidence and expertise to parliamentary and public inquiries on the issue of commercial sexual exploitation, both in Ireland and internationally.

SERP is also an active member of Ireland’s National Women’s Council (NWC) and of the Ukraine Civil Society Forum.

Influencing policy

National policy on GBV: SERP’s extensive research on commercial sexual exploitation in Ireland helped to shape and inform the development of Ireland’s Third National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence. For the first time in Ireland prostitution was formally recognised as a form of gender-based violence. As a result, Ireland’s National Strategy is the first of its kind in Europe to seek to address prostitution under all four pillars of the Istanbul Convention on violence against women – prevention, protection, prosecution and policy coordination.

The Citizens Assembly on Gender Equality: Based on her extensive experience in the field, Dr Monica O’ Connor of SERP was invited to provide expert evidence to the Citizens Assembly on Gender Based Violence and Gender Equality in March 2021.

Watch her expert evidence here and the subsequent Q&A session on her evidence with Assembly members here.