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Usually, “trafficking” refers to the process when another person, who receives economic benefits from this, exploits someone. This is a form of violence, and most often, like other forms, it is applied to women and children.
Most often, exploitation is labor and sexual. Here are the signs they may include,
Under the Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) Act 2008 and the Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) (Amendment) Act 2013, it is an offense to traffic in adults or children, including for their sexual or labor exploitation, forced criminality, forced begging or the removal of their organs.
It is also an offense to sell or purchase (or offer to sell or purchase) any person for any purpose. The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 criminalizes the purchase of sexual services and the soliciting or purchasing of sex from a trafficked person, including the penalty for ‘brothel-keeping’.
Under section 9 of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 1993, it is an offense if a person “coerces or compels a person to be a prostitute.”
Controversies around Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017:
There are some concerns about the impact of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 on individuals involved in sex work (voluntary or involuntary) – while the law predominantly aims to criminalize the purchase (as opposed to the sale) of sexual services and the soliciting or purchasing of sex from a trafficked person, there are certain broad provisions (including the penalties for ‘brothel-keeping’, which are drafted broadly to include any two individuals involved in the selling of sexual services living or residing on the same premises) which may inadvertently capture individuals who would otherwise not be considered as committing a crime.
Protection of Migrants:
In trafficking situations, a ‘foreign national’ is a person from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). A person from the European Economic Area (EEA) who might be a suspected victim of trafficking will get the same support as someone from outside the EEA.
A foreign national needing the permission of the Minister for Justice and Equality to remain in Ireland will have the benefit of the Administrative Immigration Arrangements for the Protection of Victims of Human Trafficking (those are available on the website of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service).
Generally, if there are concerns surrounding actual or suspected human trafficking, those should be reported to the Garda Síochána (the Irish police force) by calling 999 or 112. For reporting suspicions of human trafficking confidentially, the following lines are available:
The Garda Confidential Line — 1800 666 111
Crimestoppers — 1800 250 025
The Garda Síochána (the Irish police force) operates a special department dedicated to investigating allegations of human trafficking and supporting victims called the Human Trafficking Investigation and Co-ordination Unit (HTICU).
Ireland is a member of a G6 European Human Trafficking initiative designed to make the EU a more hostile environment for criminals engaged in the trafficking of human beings. There are five other countries involved in this initiative – the UK, Poland, Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands. The Blue Blindfold has a dedicated website (www.blueblindfold.gov.ie) which is provided to encourage people to report suspicions relating to prostitution, brothels, and suspected victims of Human Trafficking. All emails are treated anonymously and with strict confidentiality (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Help can be reached also by contacting Health Service Executive’s (HSE) Anti-Human Trafficking Team which is a statutory service provided by the Health Service Executive. The Anti-Human Trafficking Team has responsibility for care planning for both female/male victims of trafficking in all areas of exploitation (address: The Meath Primary Care Centre, 1-9 Heytesbury Street, Dublin 8, tel: (01) 795 8280).
NGOs Preventing Child Trafficking:
MECPATHS: tel: + 353 1 467 37 37, email: email@example.com
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