Website background and authors

This website has been written to give others an insight into the strategies, legislative and policy approaches used in the Irish campaign for sex buyer laws and the decriminalisation of the sale of sex, also known as the ‘Nordic model’. The website has been written by a part of the core TORL team, with contributions from many more of the partners, supporters, politicians and most crucially survivors who lent their voices of experience to the campaign.


Denise Charlton has in-depth expertise in the area of sex trafficking and prostitution. She works on various anti -discrimination bodies and has worked on various governmental and NGOs committees and commissions. She is presently Chair of Turn off the Red Light Campaign, advocacy for legislative change. She is presently working with Associate Dr Monica O’Connor to look at implementation strategies in the context of legislative change, across the EU, in the context of the sex trade. She is the represented on the European Expert Sub Group on Demand.

Former roles have included Expert to the EU Expert Group on Human Trafficking; Country Co-ordinator for ENOTES, an EU observatory on human trafficking. She has overseen a number of research projects and initiated and overseen EU projects on service provision, early legal intervention and demand. Denise is a non-executive director, working with organisations on strategic management, organisational development, leadership development and professional/ team coaching. She helps identify strategic opportunities and works with clients to develop a clear vision of what can be achieved. She provides project planning and management, team and leadership development and the use of strategic communications. She has a keen interest and advises national and internationally in the areas of migration and integration, anti-discrimination and diversity, LGBT rights, gender equality, with a specific focus on gender based violence.

Dr Monica O’Connor has worked in the area of violence against women for almost thirty years, as a practitioner, policy analyst and researcher. Monica is the author and co-author of numerous publications on violence against women including a major study of the sex trade in Ireland, ‘Globalisation, Sex Trafficking and Prostitution: The Experiences of Migrant Women in Ireland’ (Kelleher Associates, O’Connor & Pillinger (2009).

In 2014 she was awarded a doctorate for her research on the issues of consent, agency and harm in the lives of Irish women in prostitution and women trafficked to Ireland for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

Catríona Graham works across the areas of campaigning, communications and advocacy on a wide range of social justice issues. In her current work with the Immigrant Council of Ireland, Catríona works on combatting human trafficking, the refugee crisis and integration, maintaining a focus of the gendered aspects of migration and the double impact of violence against women in migration. With the Children’s Rights Alliance she has a focus on the use of digital platforms for enhancing impact for policy and legislative reform. Catríona also provides mobilisation and advocacy consultancy support to the Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment and is a voluntary Executive Board member of the National Women’s Council of Ireland and fundraising orchestra Co-Orch Dublin. Catríona was formerly Coordinator of the Turn Off the Red Light campaign and is committed to the successful implementation of the Sexual Offences Act 2017. She is passionate about gender equality and combatting exploitation in the sex trade, and believes feminism must always be intersectional. With a background in art and music, Catríona is also an enthusiastic freelance trombone player.