ICOS welcomes proposed Bill to prohibit sex for rent exploitation in Ireland

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The Irish Council for International Students (ICOS) welcomes the announcement by Sinn Féin housing spokesperson, Eoin Ó Broin TD, to introduce a bill that will criminalise sex for rent exploitation. Since 2022, ICOS has been calling for action from the Government to protect renters from unscrupulous landlords who engage in this predatory behaviour. A survey conducted by ICOS in 2023 found that 5% of international students who participated in the research had either been directly offered a room in exchange for sex or seen an ad for a room in exchange for sex.

ICOS Executive Director, Laura Harmon, said: ‘One of the most insidious effects of the housing crisis has been the predatory behaviour of some landlords who look to offer accommodation in lieu of rent. This is a form of sexual exploitation, and it must be tackled. We at the Irish Council for International Students (ICOS) are calling once more on the government to introduce legislation that will address exploitation in the rental market. For over two years now, ICOS has been calling on the Government and Minister Helen McEntee to introduce legislation to clamp down on sex for rent. It is a disgrace that we still do not have legislation on this area and that vulnerable international students and people in general are being exploited and targeted.’



Note to editors:

ICOS submitted a Parliamentary Question to the Minister for Justice via Maireád Farrell TD to see if she intended on introducing legislation to prohibit sex-for-rent exploitation in 2024: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2024-02-28/87/

Accommodation Survey of International Students 2023: https://www.internationalstudents.ie/sites/default/files/media/file-uploads/2023-11/ICOS_Accomodation_Survey_2023.pdf


Further information:

Brian Hearne, Policy and Communications Manager, Email: bhearne@icosirl.ie

For comment:

Laura Harmon, Executive Director, Ph: 0861738455 Email: lharmon@icosirl.ie

News type
ICOS Press Release