Limerick talk to focus on human trafficking

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

A CONFERENCE on human trafficking to mark EU anti-trafficking day will be held in Limerick next week.

A CONFERENCE on human trafficking to mark EU anti-trafficking day will be held in Limerick next week.

Doras Luimní, the local support group for all migrants, will host the conference in the Hunt Museum on Thursday next, October 18, from 2-5pm.

“We are aware now, more than ever that trafficking is an insidious aspect of globalisation,” said Karen McHugh, chief executive of Doras Luimni.

The Department of Justice & Equality’s Anti-Human Trafficking Unit identified 66 alleged trafficking victims in 2009, 78 in 2010, and 57 in 2011.

“So far in 2012, gardaí are involved in 18 trafficking related investigations involving 22 alleged victims. Unfortunately, we believe that these figures are just the tip of the iceberg.

“The majority of these people would have been trafficked for the purposes of sexual or labour exploitation. While some are Irish, most trafficking victims are migrants, so a human rights based migrant support organisation we are aware of our duty to respond to this issue,” said Ms McHugh.

The panel of speakers for the conference includes, Anna Gaunt, the Poppy Project, who will provide an insight into the UK experience of supporting trafficked women; John O’Reilly, a former Inspector at Henry Street Garda Station, who first started working in anti-human trafficking operations in 2002 when he joined the United Nations’ mission Special Trafficking Operations Program. He has written a book on the topic, ‘Sex Slavery: The Way Back’. Mr O’Reilly’s work has assisted many trafficking victims and helped identify traffickers. Sheila Crowley, from the NGO Ruhama will speak about her organisations work with women affected by human trafficking and sexual exploitation in Ireland, along with Denise Charlton, CEO of the Immigrant Council of Ireland.