News & Events

Sexual Exploitation Research Programme receives funding

In the summer of 2020, SERP – the Sexual Exploitation Research Programme at UCD - received funding from the Community Foundation for Ireland (€14,000) to undertake focused research on the impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic on the sex trade in Ireland.  This study explores the extent to which the trade continued to operate under ‘lockdown’ restrictions, and the behaviours and actions of sex buyers during this time.  In collaboration with a number of frontline support agencies, we are also documenting the experiences of those who have remained in prostitution during the pandemic, the risks they face as a result and how support services have adapted accordingly to try to meet their needs. 

SERP has also received three-year funding from the NoVo/Tides Foundation – a US-based philanthropic organisation (circa €180,000) – to support our continuing work to develop and strengthen the evidence base on commercial sexual exploitation in Ireland, and to ensure that this underpins public awareness raising and advocacy work. These funds will also be used to develop a partnership with the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWC) to coordinate the development of an effective strategy on public awareness around prostitution and will contribute to the funding of a large scale ‘behaviour and attitudes survey’ focused on the commercial sex trade in Ireland.