Sex workers' rights advocate Laura Lee has died

She was only 39.

Laura Lee, who campaigned to change the law on paying for sex in Northern Ireland, died suddenly on Wednesday, as confirmed by her daughter Cat on Twitter: "She asked me to let you all know that she was so grateful for everyone's support.”

In 2016, Lee, a sex worker herself, challenged a new law that would make it illegal for men to pay for sex in Northern Ireland. She affirmed that it breached the human rights to privacy and freedom from discrimination. Not only that, Lee argued that sex workers worried that the new law could lead to violence in the industry, because it makes the evaluation of clients less accessible as the trade potentially moves underground. The case is due before Belfast High Court later this month.

She spoke with our own Olaf Tyaransen about the proposed prostitution laws and about her 24 years in the sex industry in December 2014. You can read that interview here.

Lee’s family have asked for privacy at this sad time.


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