Thursday, 2 May 2013

Questions (46)

Michael Colreavy

Question:

46. Deputy Michael Colreavy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to improve shortfalls in the identification of human trafficking victims as highlighted by the OSCE and several US trafficking in persons reports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20831/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The process for the identification of victims of human trafficking used in Ireland is based on the model developed by the International Organisation on Migration (IOM); this envisages a two step process involving an assessment of the varying indicators and a detailed interview with the individual. Participation by front-line and policy personnel working in this area in various national and international training initiatives ensures that policy and processes in this regard are informed by the latest developments and in particular any new methods of identification of victims of human trafficking.

The OSCE Special Representative and Coordinator for Combating Human Trafficking visited Ireland in early 2012 and the Report of her visit was published in March 2013. This Report recognised Ireland's dynamic anti-trafficking policy and the development of good practices based on a human rights approach and good governance. The Report also complimented Ireland's comprehensive institutional system, coordination mechanism and consultation and cooperation with Non-Governmental Organisations and International Organisations. The full report, including the Government's response is available on www.blueblindfold.gov.ie. In 2010, 2011 and 2012 the US State Department's Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report has given Ireland Tier 1 rating for its efforts in combating the crime of human trafficking. In addition, Ireland also had the benefit during 2012 of a country visit from the Council of Europe Group of Experts on Action to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) who carried out a week long country visit in November; the final report from GRETA will be available in the coming months.

The contents and recommendations of these Reports, including any observations in relation to the identification process, will be taken into account in the process of drafting a new National Action Plan in this area during 2013. The views of these international organisations, developments at European Union level, along with consultations with other state agencies and civil society will significantly inform the direction and content of the new National Action Plan.

While the reports of these international bodies are a welcome acknowledgement of the work we have done in this area, they also represent important learning opportunities for developing and refining our policies and processes; we cannot be complacent with regard to our efforts to identify victims, prosecute those who perpetrate this crime or in seeking to ensure that the victims of this human rights abuse are afforded the supports and services they require.

Question No. 47 answered with Question No. 17.