Minister Fitzgerald opens Conference for Senior Garda Management on Tackling Human Trafficking
- Senior management of An Garda Síochána, international experts and national non-governmental organisations discuss best practice in combating human trafficking and protecting its victims.
- Minister states “we need to focus efforts on intelligence, international cooperation and ‘following the money’ ”
Monday, 13 October 2014
The Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald T.D., today attended a Conference for Senior Garda on the Management of Human Trafficking. Speaking at the opening of the two day conference which marks EU Anti-Trafficking Day, the Minister said that:
The purpose of this Conference, which is being attended by approximately 120 of the most senior Garda management in the country, is to bring together senior management of An Garda Síochána with international experts, other state authorities and national non-governmental organisations to discuss best practice in combating this crime and protecting its victims.
Directly addressing Gardaí attending the Conference the Minister welcomed the positive reports from victims of their experience with An Garda Síochána. She said:
Focusing on what more can be done the Minister said:
The Minister also highlighted the need to reduce the demand for the services of victims of trafficking which fuels this evil trade. She said
Public education and awareness play a vital role in reducing this demand and the Minister’s Department is currently working with a range of partners on an EU funded project that among other things will involve a campaign aimed at men and boys focussed on the impact of human trafficking on women.
Also to mark EU Anti-Trafficking Day, a banner was today placed on Liberty Hall as part of continued public awareness raising efforts in relation to human trafficking. Welcoming the placing of this banner, the Minister said:
Provisional figures for 2013 indicate that 44 trafficking victims were either reported to or detected by An Garda Síochána. Speaking at the conference the Minister acknowledged that while the numbers identified are relatively small, there are more victims out there. She also referred to the progress which is being made at European level in addressing the challenges in accurately recording levels of human trafficking.
Anyone with suspicions of human trafficking can report their concerns anonymously to An Garda Síochána through Crimestoppers at 1 800 25 00 25 or via a dedicated email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note for Editors
This Conference was organised to coincide with EU Anti-Trafficking Day (18 October). Trafficking in Human Beings, while by no means a new phenomenon, is an area that has been the subject of significant international attention in recent years. This has resulted in new legal obligations for States in combating this crime and protecting its victims; these international obligations are the subject of independent oversight through a number of mechanisms.
The purpose of this Conference is to ensure that the senior management of An Garda Síochána are fully supported in fulfilling their obligations in this area. It will also provide an important opportunity for those working at the frontline providing services to victims to meet informally with the senior management of An Garda Síochána.
The audience is made up of c 120 top ranking Gardai - Chief Superintendents, Superintendents and Inspectors.
The Conference is also being attended by a wide range of state and non-governmental organisations active in the trafficking field.
In addition to speeches by the Minister and the Interim Commissioner, the Conference will also be addressed by a number of Garda speakers, international experts as well as representatives from Non Governmental Organisations and State agencies providing supports to victims of trafficking.
A keynote address will be given by Professor Siobhan Mullally a Professor of Law in UCC who is also a member of the Council of Europe Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking (GRETA).
Other speakers includes:
- Assistant Commissioner Derek Byrne National Support Services,
- Det. Chief Supt John O’Driscoll Garda National Immigration Bureau,
- Mr Nick Kinsella Specialist advisor Trafficking in Human Beings,/author/expert advisor EU on-line training, Founder & former Chief executive of the UK Human Trafficking centre,
- Ms Angelika Molnar Europol O2 Serious and Organised Crime
- D/Sgt Mick Moran, INTERPOL, Assistant Director, Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation
- Ms Grainne O’Toole (MRCI)
- Ms Sarah Benson (Ruhama)
- Ms Katie Mannion (ICI)
- Mr John Kelly (NERA)
- Mr Maurice Farnan and Ms Linda Latham (HSE)
- Mr Thomas Dunning and Ms Barbara Monaghan (TUSLA)
EU Anti Trafficking Day
In October, 2007 the European Commission declared 18 October annual EU Anti-Trafficking Day to demonstrate its long-standing commitment to preventing and fighting trafficking in human beings. The designation of a specific day - 18 October – to be the EU Anti-Trafficking Day is intended to raise awareness about the phenomena of human trafficking across the EU.
Today’s Conference is one of a series of events to mark EU Anti-Trafficking Day, that the Minister is participating in:
- Two weeks ago in Washington, the Minister met with Ambassador Luis CdeBaca the Senior Advisor to the US Secretary of State who directs the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.
- The Minister also met with Dr Myria Vassiliadou the EU Anti-Trafficking Co-ordinator last week.
- On the 17 October the Minister will be giving a keynote speech at a conference in relation to Human Trafficking organised by the Immigrant Council of Ireland in the Mansion House.
- The Minister has also met in recent weeks with leading civil society groups, such as Ruhama and the Immigrant Council of Ireland, to hear their views in relation to human trafficking.
A ‘Second National Action Plan to Prevent and Combat Trafficking of Persons’ setting out the Government’s approach to the issue of Human Trafficking is currently being drafted and is expected to be issued for public consultation in the near future. This Plan will draw on the international evaluation of Ireland’s efforts in this regard, as well as being informed by the views of national civil society actors active in this field.