On Tuesday this week, a sex worker in Limerick was assaulted and killed. This was a horrific act, a tragedy, and our thoughts are with those that knew and loved her.
This brutal murder comes as a result of the laws surrounding sex work, and the stigma and injustice they embody. Because of the 'Nordic legislative model' that Ireland adopted in 2017, workers are forced to work alone and are prevented from making basic efforts to ensure their own safety. They endure increased stigma and aggression from the public and from the State, and any attempts to protect themselves from harm are met with resistance, ridicule or arrest.
The legacy of the Nordic model is seen in acts of violence and murder in every country where it has been enacted. The Irish government were warned of the effects of their laws by academics and by sex workers, but chose to ignore their expertise. We can see the consequences this week in Limerick, and daily in the lives of those who work without basic labour rights. The model is wholly without merit and must be abolished. Sex work must be decriminalised.
The IWW is committed in our support of workers in the sex industry. We hear the voices of those organisations and individuals who are campaigning for labour rights, safe working practices and an end to the injustice of criminalisation.
We now raise our voice in solidarity: An injury to one is an injury to all! Support safe sex work! Decriminalisation now!