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Anti-Trafficking

ANTI-TRAFFICKING

Doras has been supporting people affected by human trafficking since 2011. We work with women trafficked for sexual exploitation; women currently involved in or exiting from prostitution; people trafficked for forced labour and labour exploitation, as well as for forced marriage.

Human trafficking is defined in international law as:

“the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or reception of persons, including the exchange or transfer of control over those persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.”

For more information on our direct support services for victims of human trafficking, visit Victims of Trafficking

There are three core elements which define trafficking:

  • Act: These are the actions involved in the movement of a person and include recruitment, transportation, transferring, harbouring and receiving of persons.
  • Means: These are the methods used to gain the consent of or to force the trafficked person to move including the threat or use of force, coercion, abduction, deception, fraud, abuse of power or the abuse of a position of vulnerability.
  • Purpose: In order for the above acts to constitute human trafficking they must be for the purpose of a person’s exploitation. Prevalent forms of exploitation include prostitution, forced labour and forced criminality.

OUR ANTI-TRAFFICKING ADVOCACY PRIORITIES

  • Effective exit programmes to facilitate rehabilitation and reintegration of victims of trafficking;
  • Increased efforts to identify, assist and refer victims;
  • Increased penalties and custodial sentences for those found to have profited from the organisation and control of prostitution;
  • Abolition of the defence of ‘strict liability’ in relation to child prostitution and victims of trafficking;
  • Provide survivors of trafficking safe and appropriate gender-specific accommodation that is purpose-built;
  • End practice of accommodating survivors of trafficking in Direct Provision.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING & PROSTITUTION IN LIMERICK

In 2015, Doras produced a research report, No Chances, No Choices, which outlines a snapshot of 10 human trafficking and prostitution cases presenting to Doras, and an overview of the street outreach programme to people in prostitution over an 18 month period.

It provides evidence of the complexity of human trafficking, the difficulties facing migrants who navigate the Irish immigration system, the barriers when accessing statutory services, and the overlap between human trafficking and migrant prostitution.

This research indicates that:

  • Men and women are affected by human trafficking in Limerick
  • Trafficking takes many forms in Limerick – trafficking for sexual exploitation, forced labour, forced marriage and criminal activity
  • State supports for victims of trafficking are inadequate
  • Many of the issues that affect victims of trafficking also affect people in migrant prostitution.

ANTI HUMAN TRAFFICKING UNIT (AHTU), DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Doras feeds into the National Referral Mechanism framework on human trafficking. Staff attend the working group meetings at the Anti Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) in the Department of Justice and Equality as members of the 1) Sexual Exploitation and National Referral Mechanism Working Group, and 2) the Awareness Raising and Training Working Group.

For more information on our anti-trafficking work and specialised support services for survivors of trafficking, visit Victims of Trafficking

GOVERNMENT SUBMISSIONS

Doras made a detailed submission to the Oireachtas Committee providing a regional perspective from the Mid-West and explaining our argument in favour of legislative change to combat exploitation in the Irish sex industry. Download here

TIMELINE OF POLICY DEVELOPMENTS

COMMITMENT TO DEVELOP NEW STRATEGY TO COMBAT TRAFFICKING – 2020

In June 2020, Ireland’s coalition Government was announced, comprised of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party. The new Government is committed to adopting and implementing a comprehensive strategy to combat the trafficking of women and girls.

View/ download Programme for Government here: https://static.rasset.ie/documents/news/2020/06/programmeforgovernment-june2020-final.pdf

PROGRAMME FOR GOVERNMENT

TIER 2 WATCH LIST – TIP REPORT 2020

In May 2020, Ireland was downgraded to Tier 2 watch list in the US Departmetns Trafficking In Persons (TIP) report. The Tier 2 Watch List means that Ireland is considered as a State that no longer meets the minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking. The report notes a number of issues including the lack of prosecutions since the amendment of the Criminnal Law in 2013 and insufficient support services to victims.

TIP report 2020 is available to view/ download here: https://www.state.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/2020-TIP-Report-Complete-062420-FINAL.pdf

HIGH LEVEL WORKING GROUP – INTERIM REVIEW 2019

The High Level Working Group (HLWG) was established to monitor the implementation of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017. The HLWG is comprised of organisations and agencies that work to implement the 2017 Act, who contributed their views, expertise and experiences to the interim report.

Click here to view/download the HLWG interim report: http://doras.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/2020HLWGInterimReportSOA2017ByGeoffreyShannon.pdf

HLWG INTERIM REPORT

TIER 2 – TIP REPORT 2018

After five years of being designated a Tier 1 country with regard to efforts to combat human trafficking, Ireland was downgraded to Tier 2 due to a lack of serious sustained efforts, compared to previous years. The report noted in particular the lack of prosecutions and convictions, as well as deficiencies in victim identification and referral.

TIP report 2018 available to view/ download here: https://www.state.gov/reports/2018-trafficking-in-persons-report/

CRIMINAL LAW (SEXUAL OFFENCES) ACT 2017

The enactment of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 criminalised the purchase of sex in Ireland. This was the primary aim of the Turn Off the Red Light (TORL) campaign, of which Doras was a core member.

The 2017 Act also enhances and updates laws to combat the sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children, including new offences relating to child sexual grooming and new and strengthened offences to tackle child pornography. The 2017 Act introduces new provisions regarding the giving of evidence by victims in sexual offence trials and introduces a new offence addressing public indecency. Following the adoption of the 2017 Act, the TORL group disbanded.

Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017

SECOND NATIONAL ACTION PLAN TO PREVENT & COMBAT TRAFFICKING

In October 2016, Ireland published the second national action plan, outlining 65 actions for Government under the following themes: Prevention; Protection; Criminal Justice; Partnership; Child Trafficking; Monitoring and Evaluation.

http://doras.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Second-National-Action-Plan-to-Prevent-and-Combat-Human-Trafficking-in-Ireland.pdf

TIER 1 – TIP REPORT 2013 to 2017

Following the enactment of the amended Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) in 2013, Ireland was designated as a Tier 1 country with regard to efforts to eliminate human trafficking. This Tier 1 designation continued until and including 2017.

TIP reports available to view/ download here: https://www.state.gov/trafficking-in-persons-report/

CRIMINAL LAW (HUMAN TRAFFICKING) (AMENDMENT) ACT 2013

The Criminal Law (Human trafficking) Act 2008 was amended in 2013 to give effect to the EU Anti-Trafficking Directive on preventing and combating human trafficking and to ensure that Ireland adopts an integrated and human rights-based approach to combating trafficking.

The 2013 Act replaces and expands the original definition of exploitation in the 2008 Act, which now covers trafficking for the purposes of forced begging, which is recognized as a form of forced labour. Other exploitative activities are also covered such as trafficking for the purposes of criminal activities.

The 2013 Act makes important procedural changes allowing evidence to be given by a witness (including a victim) in a human trafficking trial by live television link whether the person is inside or outside the State.

https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/bills/bill/2013/39/

CRIMINAL LAW (HUMAN TRAFFICKING) ACT 2008

In 2008, the Government enacted the Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) Act, which created separate offences of trafficking in children for the purpose of labour exploitation or the removal of their organs, trafficking in children for the purpose of their sexual exploitation and trafficking in adults for the purposes of their sexual or labour exploitation or the removal of their organs. It also made it an offence to sell or purchase any adult or child for any purpose.

http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2008/act/8/enacted/en/html

ANTI-TRAFFICKING CAMPAIGN ARCHIVE

TURN OFF THE RED LIGHT (TORL)

Doras was a core member of the national Turn Off the Red Light (TORL) campaign. TORL aims to tackle the demand for prostitution and thereby reduce sex trafficking into Ireland. We successfully advocated for the introduction of legislation criminalising the purchase of sex, which came into force  by way of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 in March 2017.

For more information on our anti-trafficking work and specialised support services for survivors of trafficking, visit Victims of Trafficking

TORL

FAIR WORK STANDARDS

As part of our anti-trafficking work, Doras implemented a campaign aimed at raising awareness of workplace rights with a view to preventing labour exploitation and identifying potential victims of trafficking for the purpose of forced labour and exploitation.

Information on the campaign can be found here: Fair Work Standards.

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