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    Children can be trafficked within their own country

    Child trafficking is a growing justice and human rights issue in Ireland and yet identification of child victims of trafficking remains worryingly low.

    Child trafficking is a human-rights violation

    Child trafficking has been documented in every country across the globe, and Ireland is no exception. Child victims of trafficking can be ‘hidden in plain sight’ within cities, towns and villages.

    1 in 3 victims of trafficking are children

    Children are especially vulnerable to being targeted by traffickers and being trapped in exploitative situations. Children of all ages, genders and cultures can be victims of human trafficking.
    About Us

    We raise awareness around Child Trafficking

    MECPATHS is a non-profit organisation which focuses specifically on the issue of Child Trafficking, in Ireland. It advocates for child safeguarding from trafficking through collaborative action, awareness raising and education. It does so by facilitating workshops for frontline and emerging professionals across many disciplines including Social Work, Healthcare, Education and Hospitality. 

    MECPATHS works with individuals and organisations most likely to encounter a victim of Child Trafficking.  Training programmes are designed to help individuals understand what Child Trafficking is within both the global and Irish contexts. Through participatory workshops, participants learn about the different types of Child Trafficking and associated indicators to support enhanced victim identification.

    We Work With

    Frontline & Emerging Professionals


    Hospitality staff are amongst those professionals most likely to encounter a victim of child trafficking.

    Youth & Community

    Youth and Community Workers are suitably poised to identify at-risk children within their communities.

    Security Industry

    Security Personnel have access to restricted areas and are primed to notice issues around criminality.

    Social Work & Care Work

    Those working with children have a fundamental role in the identification of child victims of trafficking.


    Students studying across many disciplines can benefit from education around child trafficking.


    Healthcare providers such as GP's and ED Staff are well-positioned to identify victims of child trafficking.

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    Know It, See It, Say It. Spot the Indicators

    The signs of child abuse can be hard to spot. We can help you to recognise the signs of abuse with our breakdown of some of the most common indicators to make yourself aware of.

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    Learn More About Child Trafficking

    Watch this video to learn more about Child Trafficking within the Global and Irish contexts. Learn about what indicators to look out for and how to report concerns. Know it. See it. Say it.

    The latest news on our work and activities

    News & Updates

    Featured News Posts
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    What people
    say about

    Victims of human trafficking have been lost in an endless abyss of silence with their voices echoing in the darkness. MECPATHS has risen up and become a beacon of light and hope for the lost and forgotten of this world. They continue to spread education and awareness around the world so that not one more child suffers as I have as a victim of child sex trafficking. MECPATHS is truly an ambassador for us all.

    Jerome Elam President and CEO Trafficking in America Task Force; Child Sex Trafficking Survivor; Survivor Leader,

    Tusla is pleased to partner with MECPATHS in a coordinated effort to raise awareness and provide training to our frontline professional staff, including those in the community and voluntary services we fund, who work to protect children in communities across the country. Regular training and development are crucial to ensure that our practice meets the evolving needs of the children we work with. 

    Bernard Gloster, CEO The HSE, Former CEO, Tusla

    We were introduced to MECPATHS by The Irish Hotels Federation. We were so shocked by the statistics for human trafficking for Ireland that we felt we had to do something to try to prevent it happening. The more awareness there is of this social problem, the more progress can be made in dismantling this multi-billion criminal industry. All our team members in Ireland now know the signs that could be an indication of child sex trafficking taking place and, most importantly, they know how to report their suspicions.

    Sarah Marr, Group Human Resources Manager, PREM Group, Ireland and UK

    We are very fortunate to have MECPATHS contributing to social work programmes in UCC since 2019. The training provided by MECPATHS is invaluable, it informs our student cohort on the components of Child and Adult Trafficking and its prevalence. On completion of the training, students are better equipped to recognise and respond to Human and Child trafficking in their social work practice.


    Dr Fiachra Ó'Súilleabháin and Olwen Halvey, School of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork.,

    MECPATHS provided an eye-opening session presented in an open and inclusive manner where all questions were welcomed. They presented incredibly difficult and dark subject matter in such a way that it encouraged discussion from the group.  Having attended this session, I can say that I'm now more aware than ever of the definition of trafficking, its many forms and how it is a problem that occurs on home soil much more often than I was expecting. I think it should be mandatory training for everybody in a position to spot victims of trafficking.

    Workshop Participant, Irish College of General Practitioners,