“It happens here. It happens in our cities and towns, across the country. And we can all play a role in tackling it."
Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald has launched Ireland’s second national action plan to combat human trafficking.
The plan contains 65 actions designed to crackdown on individuals and gangs involved in the crime, to support victims, to raise awareness, and to enhance training for those likely to encounter victims.
Speaking at the Department of Justice and Equality, she said: “Trafficking of human beings is a crime against humanity which has no place in a modern and civilised society.
"It undermines the human rights and dignity of the person and requires a response from all of society.
"This [plan] sets out a series of actions which, when pursued together with partners both state and non-state, will bring more perpetrators to justice and free victims from this form of modern slavery."
Between January 1st, 2009, and December 31st, 2015, a total of 417 victims of human trafficking were reported to or detected by An Garda Síochána.
The Tánaiste added: "Our experience to date in Ireland has shown that trafficking is not confined to the sex trade and is taking place in a range of legitimate industries, under the guise of genuine employment. This is unacceptable. Even one victim of human trafficking is one too many."
A report released by the US State Department in July showed a 73% increase in the number of detected cases of human trafficking in Ireland since 2014.
The report highlighted that the majority of victims were trafficked for sexual exploitation, with sex trafficking of children remaining a serious concern.