October 18 is European Day against Human Trafficking

The crime of human trafficking is rampant in every country. At least 20 million people are held in slavery across the world. They are held for sexual exploitation, cheap labour, theft of human organs, or enforced street begging.

In Ireland, victims are held, not only in our big cities, but in towns and villages. Between 2012 and 2016, there were 311 victims detected by or reported to the Gardaí. The majority of victims were women, with sexual exploitation the main reason. Unfortunately these figures are just the tip of the iceberg. For more on this see the report of October 9 2017 by the Immigrant Council of Ireland.

See http://www.immigrantcouncil.ie/news/new-report-highlights-challenging-experiences-trafficking-victims-ireland

Ireland’s 2nd National Plan to combat this crime, published a year ago acknowledges that “Partnership between the State and civil society will continue to be central to our approach to tackling this heinous crime and supporting its victims.”

Click here for Second National Action Plan to Prevent and Combat Human Trafficking in Ireland pdf.

What can I do? October 18 is a day when we can help one another to become more conscious of this crime, hidden in the midst of our community. Each of us can help by looking out for the signs and reporting any suspicion to Crimestoppers at 1800 25 00 25. Here are just a few of the signs:

  • Adults or children who rarely come out of a house except with a guardian and speak little or no English.
  • Home delivery meals that result in excessive packaging regularly left outside.
  • Men arriving and leaving residential premises at unusual times.
  • Teenage girls who seem unhappy, living with older, unrelated males, who drive them about.
  • Commercial premises, including restaurants, which survive despite a clear lack of regular business.

Members of APT (Act to Prevent Trafficking) are available to speak to groups anywhere in Ireland about this terrible crime. Contact info@aptireland.org


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