Green Party justice spokesperson – TIP Report Upgrade to tier 2 is no time for celebration given the ongoing failure of state to address trafficking
Patrick Costello TD for Dublin South-Central was today speaking following the release of the latest ‘Trafficking in Persons’ (TIP) report by the United States Department of State. The report which is published annually tracks the efforts of states to tackle trafficking it their jurisdiction and territorial waters.
Costello began, “the upgrade of Ireland from Tier Two watchlist to Tier Two is to be welcomed but let’s not kid ourselves; despite the increased ranking we still have significant work to do. The report while recognising improvements also notes we have a long way to go in developing our response to trafficking. We have no updated national anti-trafficking action plan (NAP), we continue in failing to provide identified victims with the needed supports in particular housing.”
Highlighting his own attempts to improve things Deputy Costello said “The TIP Report specifically references the lack of reform of the national referral mechanism. This is something of real concern to me which is why I have introduced a private members bill on the matter.”
Expanding on the details of his bill he explained, “my bill introduces an early identification system that is much broader than the current system, which only allows for identification by Gardaí. My reform proposes to include social workers, support workers, NGOs and trade unions in this process. These are people who will be dealing more directly with the victims of trafficking and who can contribute to their early identification.
“This reform is especially important when we look at trafficking at sea. As an island nation we are particularly vulnerable to this type of trafficking and the labour exploitation which goes along with this. We currently have an inadequate visa programmes, such as the Atypical Working Scheme, which only exacerbates this issue.”
“I have been working with officials from the Department of Justice and separately from the Department of Enterprise to push for much needed reform in this area”.
He concluded, “When I look at Tier One, I see the likes of the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Germany – all EU states whom we should be looking to emulate. If Ireland is to be seen as the modern developed nation that we perceive ourselves then we must get serious in tackling this issue. Trafficking and labour exploitation have no place in our society and must be stamped out through a cross-departmental effort.”