Denise Charlton has 20 years experience addressing gender-related issues – in the fields of equality, human rights, anti-discrimination, and, integration issues
Denise became Chief Executive Officer of the Immigrant Council of Ireland [ICI] in 2003. The ICI is an independent immigrant human rights organisation. It advocates for the rights of immigrants and their families, and acts as a catalyst for public debate and policy change. The organisation has a gender perspective and works with women migrants in advocating their rights. Under Denise’s leadership, the organisation has forged ahead to become one of the lead organisations in Ireland, in the fight against sex trafficking and exploitation in the sex industry.
The ICI offers service and representation to victims of all types of violence, lobbying for better provision and protection and creating the conditions for change.
Denise works with different anti-discrimination bodies, having been appointed to a number of governmental and NGO committees and commissions, including: National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism [NCCRI]; Irish Expert to EWL Observatory on Violence against Women; Irish Government working group on Trafficking of Human Beings; National Women’s Council of Ireland; Irish Government’s Steering Committee on Violence against Women; National Crime Council; Women’s Health Council. Denise is also Co-Chair of MarriagEquality, an initiative working for marriage rights for the LGBT community.
The ICI is the lead organisation in Turn Off the Red Light campaign - a campaign to end prostitution and sex trafficking in Ireland. The campaign is being run by a new alliance of civil society organisations, unions, non-governmental organisations and individuals. It aims to raise public awareness about the dangers of prostitution and sex trafficking and to lobby the Government to introduce legislation to end the exploitation of women, men and children in the sex industry.
Domestic Violence and..
Issues of gender: 1 in 7 women in Ireland compared to 1 in 17 men experience severe domestic violence. Women are over twice as likely as men to have experienced severe physical abuse, seven times more likely to have experienced sexual abuse, and are more likely to experience serious injuries than men (National Crime Council and ESRI, Domestic Abuse of Women and Men in Ireland, 2005)
Homelessness: In response to a consultation by Women's Aid, one women's refuge reported being unable to accommodate 303 women and over 300 children between January and October 2006. (Election 2007- Putting Domestic Violence On The Agenda, December 2006)
Children: In 2009, there were 1,814 specific incidents of child abuse disclosed to the Women's Aid National Freephone Helpline. (Women's Aid National Helpline and Support Services Statistics Report, 2009).