The Immigrant Council of Ireland has welcomed the publication of the Criminal Law Human Trafficking Amendment Bill by the Government suggesting that it should extend protections to more people.
The bill will cover those brought here for forced begging and criminal activities, in addition to those exploited through sex or labour trafficking and organ removal.
Denise Charlton, Chief Executive of the Immigrant Council said: “While this bill is an exercise in bringing Ireland into line with other European countries it is still welcome as it expands the definition of human trafficking to include those brought here to be forced to beg or to carry out criminality.
“It will ensure that Ireland is using the definition of forced labour as set out by the International Labour Organisation and will help prevent us from falling behind other countries in this area.”
Charlton urged Ireland to “also take on board recent criticism that our laws on trafficking have shortfalls which must be addressed, including the identification of victims and a lack of prosecutions.”
Nusha Yonkova, Anti Trafficking Co-ordinator for the Immigrant Council added: “The criminal gangs behind trafficking are sophisticated, they are continually changing the way they operate in order to avoid capture and prosecution. Therefore it is vital that we continuously review our laws and make sure they are robust enough to cope with the evolving nature of this crime.
“This bill is a welcome development but we must keep our laws, policies and regulations under constant review.”