Ireland Promoted From Watch-List Ranking

Ireland was promoted from a Tier-2 Watch List ranking by The US State Department this afternoon, July 19th 2022. Whilst the movement is welcomed, MECPATHS remains very concerned by the re-iterated statement that Irish Children are subjected to sex-trafficking within the country and the re-confirmation that since 2020, no child victims have been formally identified in the country. Child Trafficking is outlined in the below diagram and  the many forms of exploitation that can occur. The Irish government advised through the Report that 130 children were screened for potential signs of sexual exploitation, though the screening criteria were not reached to formally identify these children as victims of Trafficking. Trafficking takes so many forms, sexual exploitation is one of these forms. We additionally remain concerned about children who are Recruited/Transported/Transferred/Harboured and/or Received  for the purposes of Criminal Exploitation, Forced Labour, Domestic Servitude, Forced Begging, Forced Marriage, The Removal of Organs.

While we appreciate that we are no longer on a watchlist, that we are no longer the worst country in Western Europe for responding to the issue of Human Trafficking, our reputation in relation to Child Trafficking remains as it was in 2021.. and 2020. The clandestine nature of Child Trafficking supports its silence, its shadowing and its secrecy. As a Tier-2 country there is a lot of work ahead to ensure the country maintains its position and even more work ahead to ensure Ireland shines the spotlight on Child Trafficking that is much needed… when 33% of all victims globally are children and 0% are found in Ireland, we appear to have a lot of work ahead for all…

Deputy Toibin on the Government’s response to the crisis in Ukraine

Deputy Peadar Toibin addressing the risk of Adult and Child Trafficking in Ireland amidst the arrival of vulnerable Ukranian Adults and Children


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.

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