Ireland has been downgraded in a report which looks into how the country tackles human trafficking.
The annual study released by the US Department of State, which ranks governments on their perceived efforts to acknowledge and combat human trafficking, said the Government made significant efforts to handle the issue.
Authorities here identified 42 suspected trafficking victims last year which is compared with 64 in 2018.
The research found that of the 42 victims identified, 38 were female including seven girls and four were male, two of whom were boys.
There are three tiers based on countries' compliance with standards in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.
Ireland used to be in tier one, but two years ago it was downgraded to the second tier along with Romania and Bosnia by the 2020 Trafficking in Persons Report.
It highlighted the lack of convictions for trafficking since 2013 weakens deterrents and claims Ireland continues to have "systematic deficiencies in victim identification, referral and assistance".
We also continue to lack specialised accommodation and adequate services for victims.
Rahuma, a charity which helps those involved in sex trafficking, said "we must be under no illusions" that the issue is happening in every village around the country.