Ireland has been deemed a Tier 2 country due to its lack of supports for victims of sex trafficking.
The 2018 Annual Trafficking in Persons report has concluded that Ireland does not meet the minimum standards for the elimination of sex trafficking.
While the government made significant efforts to meet the minimum standards during the reporting period by collaborating in international investigations and increasing funding for victim services, the efforts were not serious and followed through compared to the efforts during the previous reporting period.
It was found 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.
Anti-Trafficking and Gender Expert at the Immigrant Council of Ireland, Nusha Yonkova commented on the damning report: "The 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report provides the most comprehensive global snapshot of the grotesque trade in people, so criticism Ireland is not meeting minimum standards is grave news indeed.
“Of the 103 victims identified in 2017, the majority, 63, were victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation and half were EU nationals, while the overall majority were women. The Immigrant Council of Ireland is concerned to see yet again the majority of victims of trafficking are being trafficked for sexual exploitation, especially recognising these official figures are just the tip of the iceberg," she added.
Recommendations suggested by the report for Ireland to improve their position to become a Tier 1 country included the vigorous investigation prosecution and conviction of suspected offenders of both sex and labor trafficking using the trafficking law.
Other suggestions made were the training of law enforcement and prosecutors on developing cases without reliance on victim testimony and train law enforcement, judges, and prosecutors on a victim-centered approach.
The report can be read in full here, with Ireland's analysis beginning on page 72.