Thursday, 24 October 2013

Questions (197)

Denis Naughten

Question:

197. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of Garda investigations into alleged human trafficking in each year from 2008 and to date in 2013; the number of alleged victims and the number who are children; the number of these investigations that have been completed; the number of alleged victims that have been granted a recovery and reflection period; the number of persons who have been granted a recovery and reflection period since its introduction; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45467/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) Act 2008 came into effect on 7 June 2008 and an Anti-Human Trafficking Unit was also established in my Department in that year. Between 7 June and 31 December 2008 36 alleged victims of human trafficking were encountered by An Garda Síochána. No further breakdown of the 2008 figures is available.

On 1 January 2009, the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of my Department initiated a data collection strategy for the purpose of gaining a more in-depth understanding of the nature and extent of human trafficking in Ireland. To date, annual reports for 2009, 2010 and 2011 have been published and are available from Ireland's dedicated anti-human trafficking website, www.blueblindfold.gov.ie, in addition to my Department's website.

For the purposes of clarity the information sought, as outlined in these annual reports, is below. It should be noted that the status of investigations at the end of each year relates to investigations initiated in that year and not to previous years investigations.

Year

Number of Garda Investigations

Number of Alleged Victims

Number of Alleged Victims who are Children

Number of Investigations Completed

2009

68

66

17

13

2010

69

78

19

34

2011

53

57

19

21

2012*

37

48

23

20

2013**

31

31

4

4

* The Annual Report for Trafficking in Human Beings in Ireland for 2012 is currently being finalised and will be published shortly on www.blueblindfold.gov.ie hence the figures for 2012 are preliminary.

** The figures for 2013 relate to the period from 1 January to 30 September 2013 and are also preliminary.

With regard to the recovery and reflection period, this has been granted to a total of 16 persons.

In An Garda Síochána Policing Plan for 2013, one of the eight stated priorities is to prevent and detect Human Trafficking. The Anti-Human Trafficking Unit in my Department and An Garda Síochána are continually vigilant for any emerging trends relating to human trafficking and they maintain regular dialogue on this matter with the relevant State agencies and non-governmental organisations working in this area.