Cork Hotels working to end child trafficking

 

A CHARITY revealed how Cork hotels are becoming increasingly vulnerable to child sex trafficking.

JP O’Sullivan from MECPATHS (Mercy Efforts for Child Protection Against Trafficking with the Hospitality Sector) shed light on how the organisation’s training led to the rescue of a child in a Cork hotel.

Established in 2013 by the Sisters of Mercy, MECPATHS offers training to help those in the hospitality industry pinpoint signs of child trafficking.

He referred to one recent incident by way of explanation. “We have volunteers visiting hotels all over the country, but this one just so happened to be in Cork,” he said.

To read the full article, click here

Shannon College of Hotel Management

 

Our relationship with Shannon College of Hotel Management continues to grow and expand. We are always grateful to meet with the #MECPATHSClass in Shannon and to hear their direct experiences of working in industry. The passion and compassion each student at Shannon delivers in our engagement is much appreciated and the coordination by Orla Cullinane is superb.

We are very aware that as Child Trafficking continues to grow as a challenge, the industry leaders of tomorrow offer a unique opportunity to counter Trafficking across and within their industry. Wherever the students end up as leaders, they will bring their education with them. The diversity of home-country students adds much vibrancy to our workshops and diversity-benefit offered in Shannon is excellent.

With continued gratitude to all at Shannon and to our future relationship development, we look forward to building towards a safer future for all who may find themselves exploited and vulnerable.

 

 

“We in the hospitality industry and related education sector, therefore, have a huge responsibility in raising awareness around this issue. Training our staff on what warning signs they can be looking out for and how we can all take steps to help counteract this growing worldwide problem. MECPATHS are currently doing some incredible work on this front and have been running very effective workshops with all our first year students here in Shannon over the past year”. Dr. Phillip J Smyth, Head of College, Shannon College of Hotel Management.

MECPATHS join DELL’s #initiativeforfreedom

 

MECPATHS joined Cork Sexual Violence Centre and A21 on Friday 18th October to mark EU Anti Trafficking Day at DELL’s Ovens-based plant in Cork. Celebrating the launch of DELL’s #InitiativeForFreedom, JP spoke on behalf of MECPATHS and echoed the voices of Mary Crilly, CSVC, and Charlie Blythe, A21, who called for an increased awareness and growth in responsiveness to Human Trafficking, globally. The event was streamed globally across DELL EMEA sites and was attended by Cork-based staff.

With appreciation to Aisling from DELL who coordinated the event and to each member of the team present who extended their generous support to MECPATHS. We look forward to working with DELL in Ireland to build on our growing relationship and to delivering awareness and measurable actions together.

Presidential support for MECPATHS’ efforts

 

It is with great appreciation that we received a note from President Higgins in support of our efforts to mark EU Anti-Trafficking Day in collaboration with The Department of Justice. To read The President’s letter, please click here Message from President Michael D. Higgins

Children are Being Trafficked into Ireland by their Own Families

IRELAND IS BEING used as a destination for child sex slaves, according to the EU’s policing agency.

A new report by Europol shows that international criminal groups, particularly from Nigeria, are using established trafficking networks and the cover afforded by the migrant crisis to smuggle minors into northern European countries like Ireland for sale into the sex trade and other criminal enterprises.

The report details the testimony involved in more than 600 cases concerning the trafficking of underage victims within EU member states between 2015 and 2017.

It details the ‘particularly harmful’ EU crime networks of ‘large family clans’ which traffic children for the purposes of begging, criminality and sexual exploitation, with those clans operating in multiple countries at any one time and rotating their victims on a regular basis.

All told, 268 cases of trafficking with minor victims involved for the purposes of exploitation were documented, with 985 victims identified and 3,642 suspects detailed.

34 of those cases involved minor victims exclusively.

In the case of children, the role of the family is particularly stark, with people engaging in the trafficking and exploitation of their own children.

To read the full article: click here

The largest facilitator of images of child sexual exploitation…

The Irish man accused of being the world’s largest facilitator of [images of child sexual exploitation] has made his first appearance in a US court following his extradition.

Gardaí handed Mr Marques (33) over to the FBI at Dublin Airport on Saturday after his six-year legal battle against extradition came to an end in the Supreme Court last week.

Mr Marques, who holds the dual US and Irish citizenship but has lived in Ireland since childhood, is accused of renting out server space which was used to host a vast array of child abuse images and videos around the world. He is alleged to have made hundreds of thousands of euro from advertising and distributing the material.

He was first arrested in Dublin in 2013 following an international investigation involving the FBI, the Garda and Europol.

Mr Marques appeared in the in US District Court in Greenbelt, Maryland earlier on Monday. US magistrate Judge Timothy J. Sullivan remanded him in custody until Wednesday when Mr Marques will enter a plea to the four charges against him.

Announcing the charges, prosecuting US Attorney Robert K. Hur thanked the Irish authorities for extraditing the accused.

“Criminals cannot hide on the dark web or in foreign countries. We will find them and bring them to justice. We are grateful to Irish authorities for their assistance to bring Eric Marques to the United States to face these charges.”

FBI Assistant Director Robert Johnson commented: “Today’s extradition of Eric Marques demonstrates that no matter where you are in the world, the FBI and it’s international law enforcement partners will be diligent in their efforts to hold you accountable for your criminal activity.”

To read the full Irish Times article, click here

(c) Irish Times