Human Trafficking

The Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) Act 2008 says it is against the law to bring a person into or out of the State to exploit them:

  • sexually;
  • for labour; or
  • to remove their organs.

It is also against the law to ask someone to engage in prostitution if you have reasonable grounds for believing they have been trafficked into the State.

Victims of Crime

The Department of Justice and Equality published the 2nd National Action Plan to Prevent and Combat Human Trafficking in Ireland (2016). One of its aims is to protect the human rights of the victims of this crime. The plan provides a blueprint for Ireland’s efforts to tackle trafficking in human beings and to support and protect victims.

Victims of trafficking who manage to escape from their traffickers need a broad range of supports so they can recover from their traumatic experience and re-integrate into society.

The Anti human trafficking team of the HSE was set up in early 2010.

The team operates from the Women’s Health Service in Dublin 8. This is a sexual health and outreach support service for:

  • women affected by prostitution; and
  • victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation.

IOM Ireland Counter-Trafficking Awareness Campaign

On October 18th, 2022, marking the EU Anti-Trafficking Day, IOM Ireland released a short film portraying the harrowing experiences of victims who are trafficked to Ireland.
Entitled ‘Anyone: Deceived’, the film forms part of IOM’s ongoing ‘Anyone’ campaign, funded by the Department of Justice.

The campaign, delivered under the Protect III project, is designed to raise awareness of a number of facts around the scourge of human trafficking:

  • Human trafficking happens in Ireland, not only in faraway countries.
  • It can happen anywhere from small towns to big cities.
  • Just as ‘anyone’ can be a victim of trafficking, equally ‘anyone’ can be a trafficker.
  • There are various reasons for human trafficking - from sexual and labour exploitation to child trafficking and forced begging. 

More information is available at