Over 90 victims of sex trafficking detected last year

The number is up on 78 in 2015

New figures from the annual Trafficking in Persons Report 2016, published today, reveal the number of detected victims of trafficking in Ireland has risen from 78 in 2015 to 95 in 2016.

The Immigrant Council of Ireland said the majority of victims of trafficking are being trafficked for sexual exploitation, especially recognising these official figures are just the tip of the iceberg.

Brian Killoran, CEO of the Immigrant Council of Ireland, said, “The annual Trafficking in Persons Report 2016 provides the most comprehensive global snapshot of the grotesque trade in people.

"It is clear Ireland remains both a destination and source country for women, men, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour, including forced criminal activity."

He continued saying that while it was "concerning" that Ireland has not obtained a trafficking conviction since 2013, the government's Second National Action Plan to Prevent and Combat Human Trafficking published last October looks to tackle the issue.

“It is worrying victim identification in Ireland has not been improved despite numerous signals from courts and practitioners that Ireland is failing victims," Nusha Yonkova, Anti-Trafficking Manager at the Immigrant Council of Ireland said. 

“The Immigrant Council of Ireland and its colleagues working in the area have long been concerned that asylum-seekers cannot be identified as victims of trafficking if they have an asylum proceeding pending. Not only does this mean we are under-identifying victims, it also means many survivors are not able to access the supports they are entitled to.

“On this note we welcome the Government’s plans to examine a new model for victim identification and issue a revised national referral mechanism in 2017 and would in addition urge it to consider establishing an independent national rapporteur.”