Ireland ‘does not meet standards’ to end human trafficking, event hears
2018-11-01 13:17:21 -


By Juliette Chantitch


More than 100 potential victims of trafficking in Ireland have been identified so far in 2018, compared to 78 in the whole of 2015.

That was one sobering statistic shared at a special event at Odeon Point Village in Dublin to mark EU Anti Human Trafficking Day on 18 October.

The event was hosted as part of the Blue Blindfold campaign by the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit in the Department of Justice and Equality — and was deemed all the more necessary in the wake of new figures from the US State Department’s US Trafficking of Persons Report 2018, which identified 103 potential victims of trafficking this year alone.

“The Government of Ireland does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however it is making significant efforts to do so,” the reports states.

It goes on to explain that the Government “made significant efforts to meet the minimum standards” by collaborating in international investigations and increasing funding for victim services.

“However, these efforts were not serious and sustained compared to the efforts during the previous reporting period. The Government has not obtained a trafficking conviction since the law was amended in 2013; it initiated only three prosecutions in 2017, and had chronic deficiencies in victim identification and referral.”

Fiona Broadfoot, victim and survivor of child sexual exploitation in the United Kingdom and founder of the Build A Girl project, told the event that “human trafficking and sex trafficking are brutal, it shocks, but it has to be talked about, to inform and prevent it from happening.”

Build A Girl aims to provide a safe and therapeutic environment for exploited girls and young women to raise their aspirations and self-esteem. “Empowering girls and young women to make safe and informed choices and healthy relationships,” she added.

Broadfoot said she finances her project through a crowdfunding platform, with about 60 people donating £38 each in average in the last 16 months.

Following Proudfoot’s presentation was a screening of the film The Price of Sex, written, directed and produced by the Bulgarian-American photojournalist Mimi Chakarova.

Released in 2011, the documentary received the Nestor Almendos Award at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival the same year.

Charakova travelled to countries such as Russia, Moldovia or Turkey to investigate about eastern European women who are sold into sexual exploitation in neighbouring countries.

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