18/09/2012 Stormont Today


18/09/2012

A political programme focusing on the day's events at the Assembly and Northern Ireland Executive. Mark Carruthers is the guide through the corridors of power at Stormont.


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Hello and welcome to Stormont Today. Coming up in the next 30 minutes:

:00:29.:00:34.

Parading in is back at the top of the political agenda MLAs discussed

:00:34.:00:38.

how to resolve the issue of contentious marches. Never mind

:00:38.:00:44.

hugging a hoodie, what about hugging a lawyer? Deputy Speaker I

:00:44.:00:49.

fear he will make me hug a lawyer. Is the Ulster Covenant the birth

:00:49.:00:53.

certificate of Northern Ireland? The historiam Jonathan Bardon gives

:00:53.:01:01.

us his verdict. Parading was a hot topic for politicians today.

:01:02.:01:06.

Outside the Chamber, earlier in the day, parties met the Parades'

:01:06.:01:09.

Commission to voice concerns over an Ulster Covenant march next week.

:01:09.:01:13.

Inside the Chamber, parading was the subject of a motion brought to

:01:13.:01:17.

the floor by Sinn Fein. It called on the loyal orders to become

:01:17.:01:21.

involved in direct dialogue with residents' groups. In the handful

:01:21.:01:25.

of contentious parades, there are only a handful, that the cost last

:01:25.:01:31.

year was over �6 million. That's �6 million could be used in other

:01:31.:01:35.

policing issues and with community safety right across all of our

:01:35.:01:41.

community. The bigger cost of them was that they are toxic to policing.

:01:41.:01:47.

It's hard to quantify it, but I would say that you could gauge that

:01:47.:01:51.

policing has been slowed up five, six, seven years because of these

:01:51.:01:55.

parades and the image that they give. I've heard, over the last few

:01:56.:02:00.

days, a number of other loyalists and unionists and others talking

:02:00.:02:04.

about mutual respect. Who can disagree with that term, of course

:02:04.:02:09.

there has to be mutual respect. Surely, mutual respect comes from

:02:09.:02:12.

mutual conversation and from that dialogue, direct dialogue, between

:02:13.:02:18.

two people or two groups. Is it too much to ask for that the loil

:02:18.:02:24.

orders get involved in that? There are, I understand, very deliberate

:02:24.:02:29.

attempts ongoing behind-the-scenes to ensure that we will have a

:02:29.:02:35.

positive resolution to this entire process and situation. I welcome

:02:35.:02:40.

that. I, along with my party leader and other colleaguesed in the

:02:40.:02:43.

Ulster Unionist Party, met with the four main church leaders recently.

:02:43.:02:47.

Again, a positive meeting. Something that can be built on. I

:02:47.:02:53.

do stress and reiterate, Mr Speaker, that this cannot all be from the

:02:53.:02:58.

one side. Our society relies on an upholding of the rule of law. Where

:02:58.:03:02.

it is broken the consequences of violence are clear for everyone to

:03:02.:03:07.

see. We need people to demonstrate mature leadership and dialogue with

:03:07.:03:14.

others if possible. I would call on all leaders to defuse tension

:03:14.:03:17.

rather than to fan the flames of frustration and hate at this

:03:17.:03:24.

difficult time. You see, I don't get it. I don't comprehend why the

:03:24.:03:27.

movement of Orange feet along public roads doesn't incur the

:03:27.:03:33.

wrath, the hatred of people, primarily concerned with a minimal

:03:33.:03:40.

disruption for as little as 10 minutes, which turns into an all-

:03:40.:03:46.

day affair. Contrived by a bunch of law Breakers, provoking violence,

:03:46.:03:50.

directing hatred and displaying intoleration, which is etched on

:03:50.:03:58.

their faces. If we go to Dunloy and the issue of parading. For 11 years,

:03:58.:04:06.

no parade. No parade to allow the loyal, lodge in Dunloy, made up of

:04:06.:04:11.

18, 19 people, most of them senior citizens, led by an all Ireland

:04:11.:04:16.

Championship band, nothing that can in anyway be described as

:04:16.:04:19.

distasteful. Nothing that anyway can be described as in anyway

:04:19.:04:25.

offensive. No way could be aligned to any illegal organisation. What

:04:25.:04:28.

have republicans done in the village, they have under the

:04:28.:04:33.

leadership of Sinn Fein said, no parade. Unfortunate, because of the

:04:33.:04:36.

failure of the two big parties in dealing with community division and

:04:36.:04:40.

their efforts in Stokeing up sectarian tension, particularly

:04:40.:04:47.

around election time, plays to the gallery. We only - I listened to

:04:47.:04:49.

radio interviews where I heard so- called community activists saying

:04:49.:04:53.

they wanted more money. That the violence was around. There was not

:04:53.:04:58.

enough funding in some of these areas. That was a failure of their

:04:58.:05:03.

political representatives to deliver for their own constituency.

:05:03.:05:07.

Dolores Kelly of the SDLP. That Sinn Fein motion calling for

:05:07.:05:12.

dialogue between residents and loyal orders was rejected by MLAs.

:05:12.:05:18.

They voted for an Ulster unionist admendment which praised the loyal

:05:18.:05:23.

orders and call on all those in positions of leadership to ensure a

:05:23.:05:27.

positive outcome from future parades. From the Prison Service

:05:27.:05:29.

redundancy scheme to the implementation of fully body

:05:30.:05:35.

scanners in prisons, some of the issues raised in questions to the

:05:35.:05:41.

Justice Minister, David Forde. had to answer this question

:05:41.:05:47.

re'lawyer friendly' questions from Alban Maginness. I think an

:05:47.:05:49.

alternative dispute resolution system here would be exceptionally

:05:50.:05:59.
:06:00.:06:02.

helpful. Has the minister any plans to extend training in alternative

:06:02.:06:07.

resolution to lawyers? I fear he will make me hug a lawyer, which

:06:07.:06:11.

could be bad news. The reality of course is that the training of

:06:11.:06:16.

lawyers is not my responsibility. There is training done within the

:06:16.:06:19.

two professions, the two branches of the profession and at

:06:19.:06:23.

institutions of higher education. I certainly think it is the case,

:06:23.:06:28.

indeed I have been discussing, just last week, with representatives of

:06:28.:06:32.

barristers, the issue in many cases alternative dispute resolution may

:06:32.:06:38.

benefit with the input of those with a legal background. There is

:06:38.:06:43.

clearly scope for his professional colleagues to engage in ADR. I

:06:43.:06:46.

trust many of them will take the training courses vain to them.

:06:46.:06:50.

would ask the Minister if he supports the introduction of

:06:50.:06:55.

tougher sentences for those who attack the elderly. If so, what

:06:55.:06:59.

plans has he put in place to do just that? The several answer is, I

:06:59.:07:03.

support the use of appropriate sentences to deal with all crimes

:07:03.:07:08.

whatever range they come from and to recognise the reality of the

:07:08.:07:11.

limited amount of crime which is directed against older people, but

:07:11.:07:18.

the seriousness of that which does occur. A total of 544 members of

:07:18.:07:21.

staff applied for the voluntary early retirement scheme. 159 staff

:07:21.:07:25.

have been released to date. A further 139 had been told they

:07:25.:07:28.

would be allowed to leave when it is operationally possible for them

:07:28.:07:38.

to do so. All other applications remain under consideration. As the

:07:38.:07:42.

Minister outlined the redundancy was popular and oversubscribed. 139

:07:42.:07:46.

members of staff wish to grks but haven't been able to go.

:07:46.:07:51.

Operational considerations are at the forefront. Would the Minister

:07:51.:07:56.

appreciate that the inability of those people being able to leave is

:07:56.:08:04.

having an affect on their morale. appreciate there are moral concerns

:08:04.:08:08.

among those who wish to leave. He should bear in mind the specific

:08:08.:08:14.

issue, if we were to give people advance notice that we would lose

:08:14.:08:18.

the compensation in lieu of notice, whilst it is unfortunate we cannot

:08:18.:08:22.

give people the full details we cannot to ensure they get the

:08:22.:08:26.

maximum benefit. As I announced I made a commitment that the Prison

:08:26.:08:34.

Service would pilot and evaluate the use of two types of full body

:08:34.:08:40.

imaging scanners. Prison Service officials have 2mm wave scanners,

:08:40.:08:45.

the first was delivered and installed yesterday. Following the

:08:45.:08:48.

delivery of staff training it is anticipated that this pilot will

:08:48.:08:54.

commence on 26th September. A second scan frer a different

:08:54.:09:01.

supplier is due to be delivered next month and a similar pilot will

:09:01.:09:06.

commence then. When does he believe that the pilot will be finished? If

:09:06.:09:14.

successful, when can we imagine the scanners will be placed in the

:09:14.:09:20.

prison? There are two different parts to what he asked. The simple

:09:20.:09:26.

question is the duration of the pilot. It is admendment that both

:09:26.:09:30.

of those will last for three months. They will involve the existing

:09:30.:09:36.

practice of full body searching alongside the use of the millimetre

:09:36.:09:40.

wave scanner to see whether the scanner is as effective as the

:09:40.:09:45.

existing practices in ensuring the security of prisoners and prison

:09:45.:09:52.

staff. If they are successful it will be planned to put those, that

:09:52.:09:56.

technology into use in the two prisons at the earliest possible

:09:56.:10:01.

point. There are serious issues as to whether it is possible to have

:10:01.:10:06.

adequate protection in what is a category A prison with some of the

:10:06.:10:11.

most dangerous prisoners in Northern Ireland in custody.

:10:11.:10:14.

Whether the technology which we are planning for the other two prisons

:10:14.:10:18.

is adequate will be a key question which would have to be addressed if

:10:18.:10:21.

millimetre wave was seen to be effective at the other two

:10:21.:10:26.

institutions. That is why we are seeking the justification,

:10:26.:10:31.

authorisation for the use of transmission x-rays for there,

:10:31.:10:36.

because that is seen as a more robust of searching technology that

:10:36.:10:39.

what is being implemented at the moment in the two pilots. Clearly,

:10:39.:10:44.

as I said, there has yet been no approval for any use in any UK

:10:44.:10:46.

prison. Therefore, there is significant issues we need it

:10:46.:10:51.

address to ensure that we do make sure that we can get the

:10:51.:10:55.

appropriate technology fully approved. Installing double glazing

:10:55.:11:00.

in social housing was one of the topics which came up during

:11:00.:11:04.

questions to the Social Development Minister, McCausland. He was asked

:11:04.:11:09.

why tenants having their windows replace ready being refused

:11:09.:11:12.

redecoration grants. The new specification for replacement

:11:12.:11:18.

double glazing windows, in line with the glass and glazing

:11:18.:11:22.

federation recommendations allows window replacements from the

:11:22.:11:25.

outside rather than the inside of the dwelling. As has been the

:11:25.:11:30.

housing executive practice. Existing windows can be removed and

:11:30.:11:34.

new windows fitted with minimal damage. This reduces the need for

:11:34.:11:38.

redecoration grants to be paid. refusal of redecoration grants has

:11:38.:11:43.

put pressure on residents, many people find that in, after the work

:11:43.:11:47.

is completed the blinds don't fit. Is there any provision being made

:11:47.:11:50.

to revise the decision to refuse the grants or help those who have

:11:50.:11:58.

been adversely affected by this? Well, to make it clear. What I said

:11:58.:12:02.

was, that there should not normally be a need for a redecoration grant

:12:02.:12:07.

because there will be no damage to the inner reveal. I don't know

:12:07.:12:11.

about the member who posed the question. I had windows fitted in

:12:11.:12:16.

my own home, fitted from the outside. As is the normal practice

:12:16.:12:21.

right across the glazing sector. In that case, the windows, there was

:12:21.:12:26.

no need for internal work to be done. Can the Minister detail the

:12:26.:12:30.

level of consultation which is undertaken by the housing executive

:12:30.:12:40.

in relation to their tenants before the type of work is undertaken?

:12:40.:12:47.

have to say, Mr Speaker, I'm not clear what that question means.

:12:47.:12:53.

When a window's replacement scheme is brought forward, usually, people

:12:53.:12:56.

are actually clambering to have it done rather than to have it delayed.

:12:56.:13:01.

I have never come across people yet who turn down new double glazing.

:13:01.:13:05.

When I came into the Department one of the things I was appalled by was

:13:05.:13:08.

the fact it was willing to be a piece of work that would require

:13:08.:13:12.

ten week for the housing executive to complete. That is why we set the

:13:12.:13:16.

target to have the work completed within the life term of this

:13:16.:13:19.

Assembly. The Minister has just told the House that there is no

:13:19.:13:24.

need really for a redecoration grant for replacement windows.

:13:24.:13:29.

Given the recent experience with Red Sky and others can the Minister

:13:29.:13:31.

ensure the house that when contractors are not up to the

:13:31.:13:40.

standard that he tells us that I welcome the question because it

:13:40.:13:43.

gets to the heart of something else I am concerned about. We need to be

:13:43.:13:47.

sure that the people fitting windows are good at it. We need to

:13:47.:13:51.

make sure it is done in a professional way. I'm sure a -- I

:13:51.:13:58.

have seen a number of contractors' work. Not just one, a number. The

:13:58.:14:03.

standard fitting windows left a great deal to be desired. In my own

:14:03.:14:06.

constituency, there was one particular case where you could put

:14:06.:14:12.

your hand below the window, it was so badly fitted, and that is simply

:14:12.:14:19.

unacceptable. Therefore, that is why we are looking at a proposal to

:14:19.:14:23.

have a separate tethering -- tendering process for that

:14:23.:14:26.

particular work so that you actually have people who have the

:14:26.:14:29.

specialist skills to fit windows rather than people who may be

:14:29.:14:33.

general trade men but do not have that skill. I think that additional

:14:33.:14:37.

decision that we have made and the Executive have made is the right

:14:37.:14:42.

decision and I look forward to seeing the results.

:14:42.:14:45.

The Social Development Minister sounding a little bit like a double

:14:45.:14:50.

glazing salesmen. An historic and significant event, that is how some

:14:50.:14:54.

MLAs described the signing of the Ulster covenant as the anniversary

:14:54.:14:57.

was discussed in a unionist motion today. The signing of the covenant

:14:57.:15:04.

to place not only enough Ulster -- in Ulster but in Dublin, on ships,

:15:04.:15:08.

in high seas, and at the stokers mess of a Royal Navy ship halfway

:15:08.:15:15.

up the river somewhere in China. To deny the importance of these events,

:15:16.:15:20.

whether you agree with them or not, would be churlish. They are

:15:20.:15:23.

important. They were fundamentally important. They were important to

:15:23.:15:33.
:15:33.:15:34.

my family then and in many ways they affect vast numbers of people,

:15:34.:15:41.

not for fully but emotionally. -- not a thought fully. We approach

:15:41.:15:48.

the centenaries hopefully, having learnt the lessons of the past.

:15:48.:15:52.

Ireland was not all Protestant and Unionist or Catholic and

:15:52.:15:58.

nationalist. The motion itself is interesting insofar as it talks

:15:58.:16:05.

about the Assembly recognising the covenant being signed as important

:16:05.:16:08.

in the history of Northern Ireland but there was no Northern Ireland

:16:08.:16:12.

entity at the time. So in a way, the motion is flawed. Not

:16:12.:16:16.

withstanding that, our perspective on these things is that we have

:16:16.:16:22.

discussed this before or, and we are in a decade of centenaries and

:16:22.:16:26.

we believe that that is important. Rather than having these events

:16:26.:16:30.

commemorated in a way which would be exclusive, and that is not to

:16:30.:16:35.

say that we want people to be told how they should celebrate or

:16:35.:16:38.

commemorate historical events, but what we are suggesting is that in

:16:38.:16:44.

order to make this a more fruitful decade, and a decade which helps on

:16:44.:16:47.

the pathway towards reconciliation and a greater understanding among

:16:47.:16:53.

our communities here, that we would a Nideffer to make sure such events

:16:53.:16:57.

there are -- such events are commemorated in an clues of way,

:16:57.:17:05.

and not in a way about re-running history. -- in an inclusive way.

:17:06.:17:09.

understand it is important to the Unionist community and we respect

:17:09.:17:19.
:17:19.:17:19.

it. Unionists must accept that the cause of Irish National at... It

:17:19.:17:23.

has caused an unnatural and damaging division of Ireland's

:17:23.:17:27.

people. Unionism does not have to agree with this fact. But they

:17:27.:17:31.

should try and understand. I can appreciate that not everyone in

:17:31.:17:36.

this House will see the Ulster covenant in a positive way, in as

:17:37.:17:40.

positive a way as I would look to celebrate it but I think we all

:17:40.:17:44.

acknowledge the legacy of the Ulster Covenant, that it is one

:17:44.:17:48.

which has been lasting and one which I expect none of us would be

:17:48.:17:52.

sitting in this House without. There is a lot to be learned from

:17:52.:17:58.

this. George Mitchell once said that in America people knew too

:17:58.:18:02.

little about their history and in Northern Ireland, they knew too

:18:02.:18:07.

much. I think that is wrong. There is a level of ignorance in this

:18:07.:18:10.

country and I think it is important that we -- it is important that we

:18:10.:18:15.

use this opportunity to educate people. John von Baden joins us to

:18:15.:18:21.

answer that question. -- Jonathan Bardon. Did George Mitchell have a

:18:21.:18:25.

point? I disagree with them. The more we know the better we

:18:25.:18:30.

understand each other. For many people, there is a lot of fiction

:18:30.:18:35.

mixed up with the facts about the covenant. Have you found that?

:18:35.:18:39.

used to think myself that more women signed than men. In fact we

:18:39.:18:46.

now know that more men signed than women. Many people think that the

:18:46.:18:50.

covenant was where people pledged themselves to prevent the

:18:50.:18:55.

introduction of home rule to Ulster. In fact, on 20th September 1912,

:18:55.:18:58.

they were pledging themselves to resist the introduction of home

:18:58.:19:05.

rule to the whole island of Ireland. People forget that the notion of

:19:05.:19:08.

Northern Ireland did not exist as an entity at that time. People make

:19:08.:19:12.

that fundamental mistake all the time. It is a fundamental mistake.

:19:12.:19:17.

Eventually, quietly, the Ulster Unionist Council decided in

:19:17.:19:20.

December 1912 that they would just tried to stop home rule for the

:19:20.:19:25.

nine counties of Ulster. After the 1916 rising, they reduce that again

:19:25.:19:30.

to just six Counties. Huge number of people -- huge numbers of people

:19:30.:19:34.

signed, slightly more men than women but pretty close. In all,

:19:34.:19:39.

almost 500,000 people. It was an extraordinary number of people. It

:19:39.:19:46.

shows you the determination of the Protestant majority in the north-

:19:46.:19:53.

east to resist Home Rule, because they feared that nationalists would

:19:53.:19:56.

not be satisfied with home rule and that they would want complete

:19:56.:20:02.

independence eventually. Was it exclusively Protestant? I think it

:20:02.:20:10.

pretty well was exclusively Protestant. I would think that... I

:20:10.:20:14.

don't think a Catholic has been found that has signed it. What, for

:20:14.:20:19.

you, is the significance of it? Some people have described it as

:20:19.:20:22.

the birth certificate of Northern Ireland. Would you go that far?

:20:22.:20:27.

would. Are regarded as the founding document for Northern Ireland

:20:27.:20:31.

because it made it plain to the British Government, whether it be

:20:31.:20:34.

liberal or conservative, but it was going to have to make a separate

:20:34.:20:41.

arrangement for the north-east of violent. It succeeded in doing that

:20:41.:20:44.

even though the original intention was to stop home rule for the whole

:20:44.:20:50.

island. Carson himself was not in favour of Partition because he was

:20:50.:20:55.

a sudden unionist. What are your thoughts in the way it is

:20:55.:20:59.

commemorated 100 years on? Because that is a political hot potato.

:20:59.:21:04.

cannot be ignored. It is too important an event in our past. It

:21:04.:21:10.

helped to shape our present. It has to be marked. I must say, members

:21:10.:21:14.

of the Assembly have shown a good deal of maturity in discussing this.

:21:14.:21:22.

The problem would be outside the Assembly when passions get aroused

:21:22.:21:27.

greatly. There is the danger of corruption. How it is commemorated

:21:27.:21:32.

now, 100 years on, will set the tone for other commemorations.

:21:32.:21:37.

There is a decade of centenaries coming up. The most contentious

:21:37.:21:40.

after the covenant would be the Easter rising of 1916, but there

:21:40.:21:46.

are many others. Including the Government of Ireland Act of 1920

:21:46.:21:50.

which created Northern Ireland. you think nationalists need to

:21:50.:21:54.

think about how they commemorated the covenant and Unionists need to

:21:54.:21:58.

think about things like the Government of Ireland Act and what

:21:58.:22:02.

happened in 1916? I think soft, because if you're going to have a

:22:02.:22:10.

shared future, it means that you look sympathetically at the views

:22:10.:22:15.

of people on the other side, and find out more about what actually

:22:15.:22:19.

happened. The it would be interesting to see how it is marked,

:22:19.:22:24.

100 years on. Thank you very much for coming in to join us tonight.

:22:24.:22:29.

Access to credit for smaller medium-size businesses was on the

:22:29.:22:32.

Finance Minister's mind this morning. Sammy Nelson -- Sammy

:22:32.:22:37.

Wilson said he was worried that the Treasury's moves are not having

:22:37.:22:43.

significant impact here in Northern Ireland. By an concerned at our

:22:43.:22:50.

members of all parties in the Assembly -- I am concerned about

:22:50.:22:53.

how at the availability of credit can be restricting our economic

:22:53.:23:00.

recovery. It is an issue that has been ongoing and one where I am

:23:00.:23:03.

increasingly frustrated at the lack of attention to regional banking

:23:03.:23:11.

issues. And the specific challenges that we face here. Bank lending to

:23:11.:23:15.

SMA is a national issue and in response, the Government has

:23:15.:23:18.

introduced a number of initiatives designed to improve lending and

:23:19.:23:26.

liquidity. -- SMAs. It is hoped that that will internet improve the

:23:26.:23:31.

ability to get finance and reduce the cost of credit. As banking is a

:23:31.:23:34.

reserved matter and is the Government's responsibility to

:23:34.:23:38.

ensure that such initiatives and schemes are equally effective in

:23:38.:23:44.

all parts of the UK. They have not done this. I do not believe that

:23:44.:23:49.

their schemes have been effective here. This is because the structure

:23:49.:23:52.

of local banking sector is fundamentally different from the

:23:52.:23:57.

rest of the UK. The key structural difference is the extent of foreign

:23:57.:24:02.

ownership, whereby local banks are subject to the decisions of parent

:24:02.:24:07.

bank's base outside of the United Kingdom. Just last week, the

:24:07.:24:10.

Business Secretary, Vince Cable announced that the Government are

:24:10.:24:13.

working on setting up a new government-backed institution to

:24:13.:24:17.

help companies invest. We have taken this up with the Treasury to

:24:17.:24:20.

ask for details and have been told that the Chancellor and the

:24:20.:24:24.

Business Secretary are developing options for creating a business

:24:24.:24:28.

bank in the UK. An institution of this nature would address long-

:24:28.:24:34.

standing gaps in finance for SMAs bike and boating moat -- promoting

:24:34.:24:38.

competitive and diverse finance markets and joining together the

:24:38.:24:41.

Government's existing finance initiatives under one roof. They

:24:41.:24:45.

see this as complementing what the Government is doing on supporting

:24:45.:24:50.

private sector lending through the funding for lending scheme. I am

:24:50.:24:54.

told that the Government will set out the details later this autumn.

:24:54.:24:57.

It is very interesting, this development, and I will be pressing

:24:57.:25:00.

to ensure that it is open to and will benefit Northern Ireland

:25:00.:25:06.

businesses. Sammy Wilson. The pressure group Amnesty

:25:06.:25:10.

International have been giving evidence to an all-party group of

:25:10.:25:14.

MLAs on the issue of prostitution. Lord Morrow is hoping to out low --

:25:14.:25:18.

outlaw the practice of paying for sexual services from a prostitute

:25:18.:25:25.

but critics say that this could see resources taken away from the

:25:25.:25:29.

problem. Joining me is a representative from Amnesty. What

:25:29.:25:34.

are your concerns? Firstly, it is important to see this bill in its

:25:34.:25:38.

full context. What is good is that it provides us with an opportunity

:25:38.:25:42.

to debate how Northern Ireland is fulfilling its obligations as

:25:42.:25:45.

outlined in the EU directive and the Council of Europe convention.

:25:45.:25:50.

It serves to have a debate around that, which is useful. I also think

:25:50.:25:53.

the protective sieve gives -- protections against two victims

:25:53.:25:56.

that are contained within the bill are also useful. It is important to

:25:56.:26:01.

stress that there are elements that we welcome. What we think is not

:26:01.:26:05.

useful is caused four, which looks to outlaw the paying for sexual

:26:05.:26:09.

services of a prostitute. From our perspective, it conflates separate

:26:09.:26:17.

issues. It has the potential to divert resources away from the

:26:17.:26:21.

victims of trafficking and bringing traffickers to justice. UCD issues

:26:21.:26:26.

as separate, prostitution and human trafficking. Lord Morrow says that

:26:26.:26:31.

he is taking an overview of the situation. -- you see the issues.

:26:31.:26:35.

People involved are by definition themselves, victims in most

:26:35.:26:40.

circumstances. That is debatable. There is a difference to treat a

:26:40.:26:43.

woman who willingly sells sex and a victim of trafficking who has been

:26:43.:26:47.

transported from country to country against their will. But a lot of

:26:47.:26:53.

prostitutes are also victims. Absolutely. The debate needs to

:26:53.:26:58.

stay on victims and making sure that their rights are protected. We

:26:58.:27:02.

need to have refocused strategy to make sure that Northern Ireland is

:27:02.:27:10.

a hostile place for traffickers. They may be related but they are

:27:10.:27:13.

essentially two separate issues. Those supporting the legislation

:27:13.:27:18.

say that outlawing prostitution will lead to a drop in demand.

:27:18.:27:24.

Surely that will lead to the benefit of everyone involved.

:27:24.:27:27.

Bill is based on the Swedish model and there is conflicting evidence

:27:27.:27:30.

as to whether that has been successful. Other research points

:27:30.:27:35.

that yes, this has halved the amount of prostitution but for

:27:35.:27:38.

every point of research that shows that the Swedish model has worked,

:27:38.:27:44.

there is evidence that has pointed to it not working. That has driven

:27:44.:27:48.

the problem underground. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to

:27:48.:27:52.

human trafficking. In Northern Ireland, we have things like Beye

:27:52.:27:55.

porous border, and we have issues which need to consider like that.

:27:55.:27:59.

It is important we stay focused on the context. You mention the

:27:59.:28:03.

Swedish example. Lord Morrow was also in step with legislators to

:28:03.:28:06.

want to see changes in the law in Scotland and the Republic and in

:28:07.:28:11.

Westminster. In the Republic, I think it is very much in the

:28:11.:28:15.

infancy there. I think they are very much at the same point that we

:28:15.:28:18.

are at. The Scottish police have raised this point as well in terms

:28:18.:28:28.

of resources being diverted and how they possibly police that. We make

:28:28.:28:33.

that argument are sore -- also. The PSNI, their resources for example

:28:33.:28:36.

are diverted away from trafficking and into arresting men who pay for

:28:36.:28:41.

sexual services of a prostitute. will leave it there. Thank you very

:28:41.:28:45.

A political programme focusing on the day's events at the Assembly and Northern Ireland Executive. Mark Carruthers is the guide through the corridors of power at Stormont, and is joined by key people from decision makers to opinion formers to make the experience enlightening and entertaining.


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