Report: 20% rise in people trafficking in Ireland includes 'worryingly high' number of Irish children

Report: 20% rise in people trafficking in Ireland includes 'worryingly high' number of Irish children

There has been a rise of more than 20% in the number of people trafficked into Ireland.

New figures from the annual Trafficking in Persons Report (scroll to bottom of page) says detected victims of trafficking rose from 78 in 2015 to 95 in 2016.

The Immigrant Council of Ireland says the official figures are just the tip of the iceberg.

It has raised concerns that the majority of victims are being trafficked for sexual exploitation.

The report said Irish children are subjected to sex trafficking within the country, while other victims identified in Ireland are from Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe.

Brian Killoran, CEO of the Immigrant Council of Ireland, said: "This year again a worryingly high number of Irish children count among the total detected figure of 95."

The report revealed that there has been a rise in suspected victims from Nigeria, Romania, Brazil, and Pakistan.

Victims have been forced into domestic work, the restaurant industry, waste management, fishing, seasonal agriculture, and car washing services.

Authorities in Ireland have found that Vietnamese and Chinese men, who have been prosecuted and sentenced for cannabis cultivation, reported that their documents were taken from them by traffickers who also restricted their movements and held back their wages.

The report also recognises that women from Eastern Europe, who are forced into marriage in Ireland, are at risk of sex trafficking and forced labor.

Mr Killoran said: "While it is concerning Ireland has not obtained a trafficking conviction since 2013, there is some encouraging activity from the Government. This includes the publication last October of its Second National Action Plan to Prevent and Combat Human Trafficking and its increasing partnership work with NGOs to tackle the issue."

Nusha Yonkova, Anti-Trafficking Manager at the Immigrant Council of Ireland, said: "However it is worrying victim identification in Ireland has not been improved despite numerous signals from courts and practitioners that Ireland is failing victims.

"Victims of sex trafficking remain disadvantaged due to the woefully inadequate accommodation where they spend extended periods of time."

She said that victims don't have viable avenues for compensation.

She said: "The Immigrant Council of Ireland and its colleagues working in the area have long been concerned that asylum-seekers cannot be identified as victims of trafficking if they have an asylum proceeding pending. Not only does this mean we are under-identifying victims, it also means many survivors are not able to access the supports they are entitled to.

"On this note we welcome the Government’s plans to examine a new model for victim identification and issue a revised national referral mechanism in 2017 and would in addition urge it to consider establishing an independent national rapporteur."


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