REACH Edmonton

Sex-trade survivor and author, Rachel Moran of Dublin, Ireland, spoke at a public Lunch and Learn event Dec. 7.

Moran discussed her experiences and aimed to dispel commonly accepted myths around the sex trade, including how she became involved in prostitution, why it was difficult to escape, and why she supports the Nordic Model in addressing the issue legislatively.

“We support the Nordic Model because it’s the only model that treats this as a human rights issue, which it is,” said Moran. “We don’t believe that anyone should be criminalized for their own exploitation.”

Her book on the subject, Paid For: My Journey Through Prostitution has received accolades from President Jimmy Carter, Gloria Steinem and The New York Times.

Moran was one of three Irish members of SPACE International (Survivors of Prostitution-Abuse Calling for Enlightenment), who gave evidence to the Irish Government, which contributed to Ireland’s decision to implement the tenets of the Nordic Model in November 2014.

The event was hosted by the Sexual Exploitation Working Group (SEWG), an Edmonton-based leadership group collaborating to create awareness of sexual exploitation, its causes and impacts.

The working group is a collaborative of community partners, law enforcement, municipal and provincial government, and REACH Edmonton.

A recording of the event can be viewed on YouTube.