Trafficking for sexual exploitation is one of the fastest growing crimes of our time – according to the Immigrant Council of Ireland.
It says it’s becoming more lucrative for gangs than drugs smuggling and the trade in illegal arms.
Chief Executive of the Immigrant Council of Ireland, Denise Charlton said:
“Teenagers are tricked into coming to Ireland with promises of a new life, job or marriage only for reality to dawn in the car park of Dublin Airport. It is there the dream becomes a nightmare.
“What follows are daily rapes in brothels and being rapidly moved around the country to meet the demand from sex buyers for fresh meat. This is the reality of prostitution in Ireland.
“Luckily 19 of them have gotten to the Immigrant Council where we’re able to support them…some of them don’t even know what country they’re in.
For some of them it’s very dangerous to go home and some have even been sold by their families. For many of them- going home is not an option.
‘Past year busiest to date’
The Immigrant Council of Ireland represented 19 victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation this year.
Charlton said, “Traffickers go to places where girls are very vulnerable. Traffickers are really clever – they know the routes where they can get the girls through.”
More than half the girls supported in 2014 were from Nigeria.
In nine cases the Immigrant Council successfully secured greater protections and supports – the others remain pending.
The Immigrant Council of Ireland says it has represented and supported 60 women since it started work in this area in 2006. It added that the past year has been its busiest to date.
Charlton said, “Young boys get trafficked too- sometimes it’s for forced labour. In the area of sexual exploitation it’s mostly girls but not always.”
‘Returning home not an option’
The Council says that in most cases returning to their country of birth is not an option for women who’ve been trafficked as it will only lead to further abuse.
The Council is seeking a number of measures to deal with trafficking and prostitution:
The introduction of sex buyer laws as proposed in the new Sexual Offences Bill
The publication of the promised second National Action Plan on Human Trafficking
Improved procedures to identify and support victims
The appointment of an Independent Anti-Trafficking Czar to evaluate our responses to the crimes