Ireland remains on the Tier 2 Watch List for human trafficking in the new US Department of State Trafficking in Persons report, unchanged from last year. The report states that the number of people identified as victims of human trafficking continued to fall – 38 from 42 in 2019 and that fewer prosecutions for trafficking were initiated, with none for labour trafficking.
Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) had been working with victims of trafficking for labour exploitation for over 15 years and is a National Assessment Centre. To date, it has assisted over 250 people where labour trafficking was suspected in sectors such as domestic work, agriculture, car washes and restaurants.
Isabel Toolan, Senior Legal officer with MRCI, said “It does not surprise MRCI that Ireland remains on the Tier 2 watch list. This in part relates to the low level of identification of victims of trafficking. While efforts have been made for reforming the identification process, the pace of change is extremely slow. Legislation in this area needs to be fast tracked as a matter of urgency.”
She continued, “Organisations like the MRCI play a vital role in the fight against trafficking for labour exploitation, yet the future role of NGOs in victim identification is still not clear. The TIP report echoes our calls for Irish NGOs and civil society to be involved in identification of victims, given our experience and expertise.”
Ms. Toolan concluded, “We welcome the establishment of National Rapporteur on the Trafficking of Human Beings, along with increased funding for victim assistance, training and public awareness. We also welcome the increase in identification of victims of trafficking for labour exploitation as compared to other years”.
Caroline Franca 083 888 9185
Edel McGinley 087 748 5695
Notes to Editor
There are three tiers, Ireland used to be ranked Tier 1 but fell to Tier 2 in recent years and was put on the watch list last year for not meeting minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.