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Ireland is a source for sex trafficking, says US report

Friday, 21 June 2013 12:56 // 2563
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By Cormac O'Keeffe
Irish Examiner Reporter

In its Trafficking in Persons Report 2013, the US department of state said 48 trafficking victims were identified in Ireland in 2012, 23 of them children, including 19 children in the “commercial sex” trade.

The report called on Ireland to “vigorously implement” its anti-trafficking laws through convictions and “dissuasive sentences”, speedier investigations and better delivery of services to victims.

It said, while the Government fully complied with minimum standards on the elimination of trafficking, it had failed to make prompt determinations of potential victims’ eligibility for services.

The Immigration Council of Ireland said the report confirmed the “grim reality of sex trafficking” in the country and called on the Government to act.

The US department of state said: “Ireland is a destination, source, and transit country for women, men and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour.”

It said victims came from a range of countries, including Nigeria, Cameroon, the Philippines, Poland, Albania, Bulgaria, Brazil, Romania, and Pakistan.

“There has been an increase in identified Irish children subjected to sex trafficking within the country,” the report said.

It said victims of forced labour in domestic service and restaurant work are subjected to excessively long hours from employers who withhold personal documents.

“Some domestic workers employed by foreign diplomats on assignment in Ireland work under poor conditions and are at risk of labour trafficking.” It said gardaí initiated an investigation into one diplomat for allegedly trafficking of three potential victims in domestic servitude.

It said the number of new investigations had declined, from 53 in 2011 to 32 in 2012. A further 97 investigations were ongoing, including one into a former garda.

Gardaí referred 22 trafficking suspects, including two labour trafficking suspects, to the DPP in 2012. It said nine people were prosecuted in 2011.

The report said the Government maintained “adequate protection efforts” for victims, although potential victims “faced challenges” in accessing services.

Denise Charlton of the ICI called on the Government to take measures, including:

*The appointment of a national rapporteur for human trafficking;

*Establishment of a national database;

*Improving the identification of victims and their access to services.

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Last modified on Monday, 27 January 2014 12:16
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