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Ireland's Response

Second National Action Plan

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.

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.

First National Action Plan

In June 2009 the Government published a National Action Plan to Prevent and Combat Trafficking in Human Beings. This is the blueprint for the State’s response to the issue. All of the initiatives undertaken flow from this National Action Plan which was developed under four main headings:

(i) Prevention and Awareness Raising
(ii) Prosecution of traffickers
(iii) Protection of victims and
(iv) Child trafficking.

The Plan sets out the structures which enabled Ireland comply with the relevant international instruments. Ireland ratified the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings which came into effect for Ireland on 1 November 2010. Ireland also ratified the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children which came into effect for Ireland on 17 July 2010. It contains 144 actions and each year of the Plan the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit, in conjunction with the various stakeholders, identifies and implements a number of priority issues from the Plan.

In 2011 a mid-term Review of the Plan took place in consultation with relevant stakeholders.

Other measures include:


Other relevant legislation

Administrative Framework

Consultative Structure

Criminal Justice Response

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