After travelling the world, spending time in America, Kenya and South Africa, Irish woman Ann Mara returned to Ireland in 2016, where she began to work with MECPATHS (Mercy Efforts for Child Protection Against Trafficking with the Hospitality and Services Sector). This organisation is the only non-profit in the Republic of Ireland that raises awareness of the presence of human trafficking activity in the country which is more prolific than many people know.
It works specifically in the area of trafficking of children for exploitation, teaching people how to identify and report it. During her time with the organisation, Ann has seen some harrowing cases, from physical abuse to forced labour and sexual abuse of young children.
Ann tells EVOKE human trafficking has been a growing issue on our shores. ‘Human trafficking, which includes child trafficking, is a human rights issue that is growing in prevalence across the globe, and Ireland is not immune to this crime,’ she explains.