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Nature and Extent of Problem


What is the extent of human trafficking in Ireland?
The absence of a clear definition of human trafficking in Irish law prior to the enactment of the Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) Act 2008 acted as an impediment to documenting the scale and nature of human trafficking in Ireland. In the context of fulfilling Ireland's obligations in international instruments in relation to assessing the nature and extent of the problem the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit initiated a pilot data collection strategy. The methodology used for collecting this information has been modelled on a number of recent EU data collection initiatives which are currently being piloted. Data is collected via a standardised data collection template from a number of different organisations such as the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) and INIS, in addition to NGOs such as the Migrant Rights Centre of Ireland, Immigrant Council of Ireland and Ruhama.

Annual Reports for 2009 to 2014 are available on our Key Statistics page.
    What are the most common types of trafficking found in Ireland?
    Between January 1 2009 and December 31 2013, a total of 293 alleged victims of human trafficking were reported to An Garda Síochána. Victims were encountered through from a variety of difference sources including Garda investigations and referrals from Governmental, Non-governmental and International Organisations. In terms of the type of human trafficking encountered in Ireland, the largest group were alleged victims of sexual exploitation followed by victims of labour exploitation. Concerning gender the vast majority of alleged victims were female while males accounted for a far smaller proportion of those reported. Regarding the age of alleged victims the majority of persons were adults. Nonetheless, minors represented a significant minority accounting for almost 1 quarter of alleged victims reported in Ireland. In relation to the origin of alleged victims those from Western Africa, principally Nigeria, constituted the largest regional group. The second largest regional group were those from the EU which consisted of persons from a range of Central and Eastern European countries. Other smaller regional groups included persons from Southern Asia, Southern Africa and Ireland.

    How many people are trafficked around the world each year?
    Human trafficking, by its nature, is an “underground” activity, therefore it is extremely difficult to accurately estimate the number of people trafficked worldwide. In 2008 the International Labour Organization estimated that 2.4 million people are trafficked globally each year, of these approximately 43% are trafficked for sexual exploitation, 32% for labour exploitation and the remainder for a combination of both. It has been estimated by the United States, State Department that 80% of people trafficked for labour or sexual exploitation are women and girls.
      Are only young women trafficked?
      No.
      Both men and women of any age can be victims of human trafficking for labour and for sexual exploitation.

      Is it only abandoned children who are at risk of being trafficked?
      No.
      While children who are abandoned may be more susceptible to being trafficked, all children can be at risk.
        Do only prostitutes end up in trafficking rings?
        No.
        Persons from all social backgrounds, regardless of class, race, sex or belief may be exploited by traffickers, not only for sexual exploitation but also for labour exploitation.

        The Meaning of Human Trafficking


        Who is Involved


        Governments Response to Human Trafficking


        Supports Available


        Seeking More Information




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