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European ‘action days’ target human trafficking

29 Nov 2021 / human rights Print

European ‘action days’ target human trafficking

The Garda National Protective Services Bureau (GNPSB) has sent a number of files to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), after two pan-European ‘action days’ that targeted human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation, forced criminality, and forced begging.

The operation took place on 11 and 12 November, under the umbrella of the Europol ‘EMPACT’ framework.

The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 criminalises the purchase of sexual services and the soliciting or purchasing of sex from a trafficked person.

Protection

An Garda Síochána says that its operation focused on the enforcement of this legislation to target those involved in paying for sexual services, and the protection of people in the sex trade.

Members of the force carried out 45 safeguarding visits across the country to individuals within the sex trade, aimed at identifying people who were potentially being sexually exploited or trafficked. The operation targeted 58 premises linked to the sex trade.

The gardaÍ involved also questioned 77 people on suspicion of having purchased sexual activity.

€10,000 seized

The force says that it identified one female victim of sexual or labour exploitation, while one man was arrested for crimes relating to brothel-keeping.

The NPSB also seized more than €10,000 linked to the proceeds of crime for organised prostitution.

Europol says the operation across Europe involved 29 countries, and involved more than 14,000 law-enforcement officers targeting trafficking routes on roads and at airports. It says that the action

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