IOM and UNODC support Ireland in strengthening the fight against trafficking in persons
Dublin - The International Organization for Migration (IOM), in collaboration with the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), today (23-05) launched the first practical workshop focusing on the investigation and prosecution of criminal cases related to trafficking in persons (TiPs) in Ireland.
“It is crucial that anti-trafficking efforts be strengthened to ensure the protection and safety of the population on the move, especially now with the Ukraine crisis, which has resulted in thousands of vulnerable people fleeing their homes,” said Ms. Lalini Veerassamy, IOM Chief of Mission in Ireland at the opening of the workshop, which is taking place in Dublin.
The objective of the two-day, Department of Justice-funded workshop is to increase awareness and understanding of human trafficking among law enforcement and prosecutors in Ireland, as well as solicitors working with victims of trafficking, and equip them with skills to conduct quality investigations and prosecutions while ensuring protection and assistance for the victims.
“The training focuses on practical aspects of information exchange and evidence gathering; our aim is to help authorities to identify potential victims of trafficking at an early stage, but also to collect and present to the courts strong evidence, while protecting the victims,” said Mr. Davor Raus, UNODC expert.
Participating are members of the Human Trafficking Investigation and Coordination Unit (HTICU) of An Garda Síochána, the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB), Legal Aid Board and prosecutors from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), who are responsible for prosecuting cases related to human trafficking.
For more information, please contact Bríd Mcloughlin, National Operations and Programme Officer at IOM Ireland: firstname.lastname@example.org, +353 87 9974050 or Angelica Trindade, Communication Assistant at IOM Ireland: email@example.com, +353 89 9607145
According to the Trafficking in Persons (TIPs) Report in 2021 issued by the U.S. State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, Ireland maintained its position on the Tier 2 Watchlist for the second year in a row. According to the report, in 2019 the Irish government initiated five prosecutions for suspects, compared to zero in 2018, three in 2017, and nine in 2016. In 2021, Ireland secured its first convictions under the Criminal Law (Human Trafficking), the first conviction of its type in Ireland.
According to recommendations from the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) 2nd Evaluation Round on Ireland’s response to tackling human trafficking, taking measures to ensure that human trafficking offences are investigated and prosecuted lead to proportionate and dissuasive actions which can deter human traffickers.
IOM and UNODC, with funding and support of the Irish Department of Justice, aim to contribute to the Government of Ireland’s efforts to address the issues and recommendations of the GRETA and TIPs reports through training opportunities for professionals in the Irish Police (An Garda Síochana), the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) as well as the Legal Aid Board, the State authority responsible for providing legal services to victims of trafficking.