Second National Action Plan


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On 17 October 2016, the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald T.D., launched the Second National Action Plan to Prevent and Combat Human Trafficking in Ireland. The Second National Action Plan seeks to build on the work carried out to date and sets out our strategy for the coming years. This plan leverages and builds on international and domestic experience and provides for new initiatives in order to address human trafficking in all its forms.

Speaking at the launch, the Tánaiste welcomed the co-operation that had existed between the governmental and non-governmental sector to date and looked forward to its continuation. She emphasised the hidden nature of trafficking and the need to raise public awareness:

"Our experience to date in Ireland has shown that trafficking is not confined to the sex trade and is taking place in a range of legitimate industries, under the guise of genuine employment. This is unacceptable. Even one victim of human trafficking is one too many. I want to raise awareness of the issue among the general public and to encourage anyone who suspects that trafficking may be taking place, to report their suspicions to the Gardaí." - Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald T.D, 17th October 2016


In Ireland we have seen instances of trafficking for sexual exploitation and labour exploitation. We have seen both Irish victims and foreign national victims. We have seen men, women and children fall prey to this terrifying reality. While public perception may focus on transnational trafficking, we know that trafficking also occurs within Ireland. In recent years, Ireland has had the benefit of international evaluations of our practices and policies in this area. Where necessary, we will develop our approach and build on our strengths that were highlighted in these evaluations and in future evaluations. 

This Second National Action Plan outlines in Part 1, the structures and policies we have put in place to address human trafficking and support its victims. Part 2 of the plan outlines the priorities we have identified to further address this issue and set out clear targets for delivery.

Goals and Priorities of the National Action Plan

The goals of the Second National Action Plan are to:

  • Prevent trafficking in human beings
  • Identify, assist and protect and support victims of trafficking in human beings
  • Ensure an effective criminal justice response 
  • Ensure that Ireland’s response to human trafficking complies with the requirements of a human rights based approach and is gender sensitive.
  • Ensure effective co-ordination and co-operation between key actors, both nationally and internationally
  • Increase the level of knowledge of emerging trends in the trafficking of human beings
  • Continue to ensure an effective response to child trafficking.

Delivery on the commitments in this Plan is reliant on a range of bodies across Government and State Services. It is also important to recognise the role played by civil society in responding to this issue; they too have a crucial role to play. Partnership between the State and civil society will continue to be central to our approach to tackling this heinous crime and supporting its victims.