Over the past months, Ireland’s efforts to counter Human Trafficking have been placed under an International Spotlight. The US Department of State’s publication of The TIP (Trafficking in Persons) Report has highlighted the nations under-preparedness for the international crisis of Trafficking. As a result of Ireland’s limited response, the country has been downgraded to ‘Tier 2’ in the Departments Indicator scale.

“The Government of Ireland does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however it is making significant efforts to do so. The government made significant efforts to meet the minimum standards during the reporting period by collaborating in international investigations and increasing funding for victim services. However, these efforts were not serious and sustained compared to the efforts during the previous reporting period. The government has not obtained a trafficking conviction since the law was amended in 2013; it initiated only three prosecutions in 2017, and had chronic deficiencies in victim identification and referral. Therefore Ireland was downgraded to Tier 2”.

To download a copy of The TIP Report, please click here

Furthermore, the publication of a Europol Report ‘Criminal Networks involved in the Trafficking and Exploitation of Underage Victims in The European Union’, highlights the growing nature of Trafficking within Ireland and directly requests the Irish Government to respond to this International Crime. Director of Europol, Catherine De Bolle, confirms that vulnerable children are being identified and victimise by criminals who want to exploit them. Ireland is highlighted as a destination country for victims of Trafficking:

“Vulnerable boys and girls between the age of two and 17 years old are targeted by traffickers for different purposes, to be sexually abused in prostitution, pickpocket or steal from shops.. Only if all competent authorities work closely together can we effectively protect these minors, as exploited children in vulnerable situations deserve to be. Children do not decide for themselves, traffickers very often directly engage their families in the recruitment process or even just target orphans.”

As Ireland’s National response remains under-resourced, we continue to reach out to the hospitality sector in Ireland to engage with MECPATHS and help to raise awareness and grow staff-capacity. Each person can make a difference. To request further information on our work, please email us info@mecpaths.ie