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Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 21 January, 2020

Ireland 'failing' victims of human trafficking as number detected here rises

The Immigrant Council of Ireland said the Government needed to do more to protect trafficking victims.

Image: Shutterstock/Andrew Lever

IRELAND IS FAILING victims of trafficking as the number of people detected here rose over the past year, according to an immigrant rights group.

The Immigrant Council of Ireland said the Government needed to do more to protect trafficking victims.

The concerns were raised following the publication of the Trafficking in Persons Report 2016, which found that the number of detected victims of trafficking in Ireland has risen from 78 in 2015 to 95 in 2016.

The Council expressed concern that the majority of identified victims were being trafficked for sexual exploitation.

Nusha Yonkova, anti-trafficking manager at the Immigrant Council of Ireland, said that it was worrying that victim identifying had not been improved in the country.

“Victims of sex trafficking remain disadvantaged due to the woefully inadequate accommodation where they spend extended periods of time,” said Yonkova.

They are also put at a disadvantage when it comes to viable avenues for victim compensation.

While the Council welcomed certain recent efforts by the Government to tackle trafficking, it said more needed to be done.

It expressed concern 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,” said Yonkova.

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.

You can read the full trafficking report here 

Read: ‘An industry built on human misery’ – in an uncertain world people smugglers are making billions

Read: New specially trained garda units to investigate child abuse and domestic violence

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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