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Trafficked worker in Ireland: I was threatened, confined and treated as a slave

Over 180 cases of modern day slavery have been uncovered here in the last six years and victims are calling for protection in the law.
Jun 18th 2013, 6:15 AM 9,781 11

A VICTIM OF forced labour in Ireland has spoken out about the lack of rights and protections for Ireland’s modern day slaves.

The topic was up for discussion at a meeting of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly yesterday, which heard evidence from Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MCRI) in Dublin.

Fauziah Shaari told the assembly that she suffered at the hands of her employer and said victim’s right s need to be put into law so they can be protected.

I was treated as a slave. My passport was taken, I was not paid for my work, I was not allowed to go out of the house and I was threatened. I still have not found justice.

Gráinne O’Toole, of MRCI said that trafficking for forced labout is a form of slavery which is on the rise in Ireland.

MRCI have uncovered over 180 cases of slavery in Ireland over the last six years, including trafficking in domestic, restaurant, agricultural, construction and entertainment sectors, but O’Toole said few cases are identified by the authorities and not one perpetrator has been prosecuted for this crime.

Though the National Employment Rights Aurhotiry (NERA) carries out inspection in workplaces to uncover exploitation, O’Toole said it does not have the power to investigate trafficking for forced labour which is a “serious gap in combating slavery”.

“The government have committed to putting victims’ protections for trafficked persons on a legal footing within the Immigration Residency and Protection Bill,” O’Toole added. “This law is urgently needed but has not seen the light of day. Minister Shatter needs to act and bring in this law to address the needs of victims of this heinous crime.”

The British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly, which produces reports on a wide range of issues, was in Dublin to conduct an inquiry into human trafficking both here and in Britain.

Read: TDs to debate plans to ‘name and shame’ those who pay for sex>
Read: Report shows that out of 13 suspected Irish traffickers, none were prosecuted>

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Michelle Hennessy


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