Human Trafficking

stop 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. They have the same rights as any Irish citizen in relation to access to:

  • accommodation;
  • health care;
  • education; and
  • material assistance.

The HSE is the lead agency in making sure that victims have appropriate access to these services.

The Anti human trafficking team of the HSE was set up in early 2010. Its main functions include:

  • assessing victims;
  • supporting victims;
  • developing care plans;
  • referring people to appropriate health and personal social services; and
  • delivering training for the Gardai and other State agencies.

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.

We are committed to strengthening governance and related structures to support the prevention of human trafficking. This includes providing ongoing training for staff to make sure they:

  • recognise that someone is a victim of human trafficking;
  • respond appropriately; and
  • refer the victim to the appropriate resources.