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Some convicted migrants may have been forced to commit crimes by human traffickers

183 people were trafficked into Ireland in three years, a report shows.

Image: Bound hands via Shutterstock

ASIAN MEN CONVICTED of growing cannabis may have been victims of human trafficking, a new EU report suggests.

The European Union’s report on trafficking, released to mark European Anti-Triafficking Day, shows that 183 people have reported to authorities here as victims of human trafficking between 2010 and 2012, including some who may have been forced to commit crimes.

That 183 saw 132 people become victims of sexual exploitation, 38 of labour explotation and 13 others forced into other activities like criminality and begging.

A total of 28 traffickers were convicted in the same time scale.

The Migrants Rights Centre Ireland has previously argued that some Asian nationals arrested for cultivating cannabis, may have been forced into criminality.

“We have shown that people are being trafficked here and forced to work in cannabis growhouses,” MRCI’s Gráinne O’Toole told TheJournal.ie in July.

They should be identified and protected; instead, they are being arrested, tried and convicted of drug offenses. Ireland is not just failing to protect trafficking victims; it is actively harming them through incarceration for crimes they were forced to commit.

Furthermore, MRCI research of imprisonment statistics suggest that Asian people convicted of cannabis cultivation are more likely to go to jail.

Read: ‘Traffickers operate only to make money from human misery’

Read: Trafficked Asian nationals forced into drug trade are getting tougher sentences than Irish – MRCI

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