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Drive to raise awareness of human trafficking
Pic: Shutterstock

12 Oct 2020 / human rights Print

Drive to raise awareness of human trafficking

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee have launched an initiative aimed at raising public awareness of human trafficking.

Messages on social media and at key transport hubs will be aimed at helping the public to recognise the signs of human trafficking.

How to report

Information will be made available on how to report suspicious activity, as well as tips on being a conscious and responsible consumer.

A new website is also being launched to highlight the availability of supports and services for victims from the state, as well as community and voluntary organisations active in this sector.

The campaign started on social media platforms on 9 October and will continue in the run-up to European Anti-human Trafficking Day on 18 October. Poster campaigns at Dublin Airport, ports and other transport hubs will begin on 19 October and continue for the rest of the month.

COVID-19 effect

Minister McEntee said the phenomenon of human trafficking was not limited to big cities. “The terrible reality is that victims of human trafficking may potentially be hidden in plain sight, in any community in Ireland,” she said.

The IOM’s chief of mission Lalini Veerassamy said COVID-19 had increased vulnerability and the risk of exploitation.

He said that while joining forces with the private sector, trade unions, supply chain auditors and recruitment agencies to put in place practices to reduce the risks of trafficking and exploitation was important, nothing could be more powerful than an engaged and informed public.

The Department of Justice says other efforts to combat human trafficking continue, including the drafting of legislation to designate the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) as Ireland’s independent National Rapporteur for Anti-Human Trafficking under article 19 of the EU Human Trafficking Directive.

A review of the Criminal Justice (Sexual Offences) Act 2017, which introduced the offences of paying for sex with a trafficked person, has also started.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland