And the Government was heavily criticised by US authorities for not doing enough to confront the sick abuse.
The global trafficking study was carried out by the US State Department and published yesterday.
It also revealed six of the victims were subjected to forced labour and 31 of the 48 total were female.
Twenty-threewere born in Ireland and the rest came from Nigeria, Cameroon, the Philippines, Poland, Albania, Bulgaria, Brazil, Romania and Pakistan.
DeniseCharlton of the Immigrant Council of Ireland said yesterday: “Once again the US State Department has confirmed Ireland remains a ‘destination, source and transit country for women, men and children subjected to sex-trafficking and forced labour’.”
Thereport exposed the lack of Government action to tackle the scourge, saying: “The Government did not demonstrate efforts to reduce the demandfor commercial sex acts or forced labour.”
Thedata found an absence of an adequate database stopped authorities’ ability to help victims across Government support agencies.
Italso recommended Ireland should implement its 2008 anti-trafficking lawto make sure sex trafficking and forced labour offenders are held accountable through convictions and sentences.
The Immigrant Council also wants the database set up to track and help victims.
Ms Charlton added: “We urge the Government to act on this document and ensure those still trapped in a life of threats, abuse and violence are offered hope.”
Her colleague and anti-trafficking co-ordinator Nusha Yonkova said: “Regarded as one of the most comprehensive reviews on sex-trafficking,this annual report shows once again that no country has yet found a response which is robust enough to end this modern day scourge.
“Irelandhas an opportunity in the coming weeks to take a lead with the publication of recommendations on the laws on prostitution.
“Asa first step we encourage our politicians to show courage and stand up to traffickers, pimps and the organised crime which run this evil trade.”
Responding to criticism a Government spokeswoman said yesterday: “This year, and for the past few years, An Garda Siochana has identified trafficking in human beings as one of its priorities with an increased focus given to
prevention and detection of human trafficking in its annual policing plan.
“The State provides a wide range of support services to victims of human trafficking.”
Sheadded the annual report for Trafficking in Human Beings in Ireland for 2012 is currently being finalised and will soon be published.
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