Skip to main content
CampaignImmigration UpdateNews & Updates

EU Anti-Trafficking Day

By 16 October 2023November 21st, 2023No Comments

18 October 2023 – EU Anti-Trafficking Day

RE: Open Letter to Minister for Justice Helen McEntee

Dear Minister McEntee,

We write regarding the Criminal Justice (Sexual Offences and Human Trafficking) Bill 2023.

As organisations working directly with victims of human trafficking, we are concerned that the
proposed legislation does not provide immigration permission for presumed and identified victims of
trafficking. We believe such permission is necessary to encourage people to come forward for
identification. The National Rapporteur on the Trafficking of Human Beings also recommends the
inclusion of immigration permission for victims in primary legislation.

It is undeniable that Ireland is failing to adequately fight the crime of human trafficking. The number of
identified victims in 2022 was just 42 people. To date, there have only been two criminal convictions.
This has not gone unnoticed at home or abroad: recently, Ireland spent two years on the U.S. State
Department’s watchlist for its perceived failures to address human trafficking.

Many traffickers use threats of arrest and deportation to control their victims. Therefore, the provision of
immigration permission is critical, encouraging more people to come forward and enabling better access
to services and supports.

You have an opportunity as Minster to ensure that Ireland does everything in its power to combat this
crime and protect its victims. We urge you to amend this Bill to provide immigration permission for
presumed and identified victims of human trafficking.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Salome Mbugua, CEO, AkiDwA

Sr. Denise O’Brien, Chairperson, Act to Prevent Trafficking (APT)

John Lannon, CEO, Doras

Brian Killoran, CEO, Immigrant Council of Ireland

Michael O’Brien, Fisheries Campaign Lead, Ireland, International Transport Workers’ Federation

Edel McGinley, Director, Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI)

Barbara Condon, CEO, Ruhama