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02nd Jul 2021

Ireland ranked alongside Romania as weakest EU states for combatting human trafficking

Melissa Carton

We need to do better.

Recent research has found that Ireland is one of the worst countries in Europe for combatting human trafficking.

According Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report Ireland places second behind Romania for the weakest EU state when it comes to dealing with human trafficking.

The Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report refers to Ireland as tier two watchlist state which is the third lowest of four rankings.

Countries in this tier do not meet minimum standards required to help combat human trafficking and it is the second year in a row that Ireland has ranked so low for not taking enough action.

According to the TIP report regarding Ireland;

“The government continued to have systemic deficiencies in victim identification, referral, and assistance, and lacked specialised accommodation and adequate services for victims.

A lack of convictions for trafficking “weakened deterrence, contributed to impunity for traffickers, and undermined efforts to support victims to testify” while a problem persists with “inadequate law enforcement efforts.”

On top of Ireland’s abysmal ranking there are also concerns that official statistics on human trafficking in Ireland do not accurately reflect how many cases there actually are.

The report says Irish authorities identified 38 trafficking victims last year, compared with 42 in 2019.

Last year’s figures was the fewest victims identified since 2013.

The TIP report itself implies that the number of people being trafficked in Ireland could be much higher than this.

It also found that most human trafficking victims coming into Ireland from foreign countries came from Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and South America.

Since the publishing of the report many human right activists, such as Chief Irish Human Rights and Equality commissioner Sinéad Gibney, have appealed to the Irish Government to wake up and do better when it comes to protecting human trafficking victims and prosecuting those who traffic.