Declan Breathnach TD
Louth (and East Meath)

14th November 2019
Breathnach questions Minister on Government response to Human Trafficking
-Deputy Breathnach raised the issue in the Dáil following the deaths of 39 people in the back of a truck in Essex –

Fianna Fáil TD Declan Breathnach questioned Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan on what the Irish Government was doing to combat human trafficking and modern-day slavery. This follows the news that Irish people have been arrested in relation to the recent case in Essex where 39 people were found dead in the back of a refrigerated lorry.

 

Breathnach commented “There were 64 confirmed cases of slavery in Ireland last year, including 27 cases of sexual exploitation, 35 cases of forced labour, 2 cases of forced criminality and 4 cases involving children. Slavery is abolished in every country in the world, but that just mean it is hidden, with an estimated 40 million slaves worldwide.”

 

An Irish Government report ‘Global Ireland – Ireland’s Foreign Policy for a Changing World’, contains a commitment to combat and prevent human trafficking. However, Breathnach noted there has been zero convictions for human trafficking since the law was amended in 2013 and authorities had not initiated any prosecutions in 2018. Breathnach condemned the fact that when victims come into contact with authorities, they are often placed into Direct Provision.

 

Minister Flanagan accepted the lack of prosecutions for human trafficking and told Deputy Breathnach of the challenging nature of securing convictions. He confirmed that Members of An Garda Síochána have taken part in human trafficking training courses delivered by the FBI and the PSNI.

 

Breathnach, who is the Fianna Fáil spokesperson on cross-border co-operation concluded “ I welcome the co-operation between An Garda Síochána and the PSNI in terms of tackling these trafficking gangs. I hope the Minister and Government will urgently resolve to tackle this evil crime which is a scourge on our society and happening right under our noses”

 

 
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Declan Breathnach T.D., Leinster House, Dublin 2 (Declan – 087 2697638)
(T) 01 6183549 (Email)  declan.breathnach@oireachtas.ie