The clandestine nature of human trafficking makes it difficult to measure accurately. The following spreadsheet shows the number of identified victims1 reported to An Garda Síochána since 2009. The data is broken down by year of identification, exploitation category, region of origin, gender and age. Like any crime statistic, an increase in identified victims is not necessarily proof that more people are being trafficked, rather that more have come to the attention of An Garda Síochána.
An important note on minor victims of trafficking
Due to popular misconceptions about human trafficking, reporting of child victims has in the past been interpreted as indicative of criminal networks targeting children for commercial sexual exploitation in an organised manner. Historically this is not the profile of child sexual exploitation in Ireland, where the abuse suffered is usually at the hands of one person, and does not involve a criminal network. However, perpetrators of child sexual exploitation have been prosecuted and convicted under Section 3 of Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998 as amended by the Human Trafficking Act 2008 and subsequent legislation. These convictions are reflected in the statistics provided. Readers should bear this in mind when considering the scale of child trafficking in the State, particularly when comparing our statistics to those of other jurisdictions.