Crimea prostitution

Name: Christiane Years old: 22

Police estimate there are 88 brothels in operation, with Northern Ireland having a higher demand for prostitution than most other areas of Europe.

The brothels are usually run by local gangs, including paramilitaries, but there are also foreign groups. The problem is most evident in Belfast, but other towns and cities - such as Londonderry, Antrim, Enniskillen, Portadown and Bangor - are known to have brothels.

The gangs can make millions of pounds in a year by exploiting women they have brought to Northern Ireland illegally. The PSNI have broken up some of the prostitution rings and rescued dozens of women from the sex trade over the last couple of years.

However, every day, new women are being brought in from abroad and often the women are so traumatised by their experiences they can't help the police bring convictions against the gangs. PSNI rescue 'trafficking victims'.

Many of the women working in the brothels have been trafficked from abroad. They are held captive and forced into prostitution. More on this story.

Published 21 March Published 3 September

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