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28 Jun 2017

Noel Baker, Irish Examiner

Ireland is failing trafficking survivors, claims report

This country is deficient when it comes to supporting victims of human trafficking, with a report claiming Ireland is still a destination and source country for women, men, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour, including forced criminal activity. The annual Trafficking in Persons Report 2016, by the US State Department, noted while 90 new trafficking-related cases were opened here last year, in line with figures for recent years, a conviction for trafficking has not been secured since 2013... Last year, 95 suspected trafficking victims were identified, compared with 78 in 2015 and 46 in 2014. Of those, 52 were exploited in sex trafficking, 38 in labour trafficking, one in both sex and labour trafficking, and four in forced criminality in the selling of heroin; 50 were female and 45 were male, with the increase in men driven by one case involving 23 Romanian male victims...Some Lithuanian men are subjected to forced labour, including in agriculture, in countries including Ireland, with Slovak women also trafficked here for sexual exploitation. The report noted shortcomings, such as a lack of specialised services in the centres for female victims who have been traumatised due to psychological, physical, or sexual violence...