PRESS RELEASE: 17 November 2008
Speaking ahead of the event, Director of the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) Siobhán O’Donoghue warmly welcomed the initiative taken by Katie Ford and Anti-Slavery International in highlighting this international problem on this occasion.
Speaking of her collaboration with MRCI, Ms Ford said, “We need to recognise that forced labour is happening across the globe and is a growing phenomenon in our communities. No individual or industry is immune from this form of modern-day slavery. Organisations like the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland work directly with people who have found themselves in this situation, but all of us, including the fashion industry, can take action that will make a significant difference.”
MRCI supports and advocates for people trafficked to Ireland into forced labour. According to Ms O’Donoghue, “the purpose of forced labour is exploitation, and each of us might be inadvertently benefiting from this in some way, whether through childcare arrangements, the groceries we buy, or when we eat out. These workers are exploited and threatened to such an extent that they live in fear and are not free to leave.”
She went on to say, “too often, victims of forced labour are identified as undocumented migrants who have broken the law, and are sent home without recourse to justice. We must double our efforts to ensure that the real victims of forced labour are protected, not criminalised. I hope that highlighting trafficking on this occasion will contribute to raising awareness of the problem in Ireland. ”