Moving money, people and sex in Ireland

Published on 1 August 2020 at 15:01

There are many worlds of reality on our shared planet, while most of us may enjoy a coffee on street furniture and small talk over the sales in Brown Thomas, there exist layers of reality we cannot perceive. In day to day life, as we go on, there is an ever-growing world of black-market economies, people whose lives know only misery go on as our day goes on.  

Human trafficking is a criminal enterprise that is estimated to be worth $150 billion globally. Nearly $100 billion comes from commercial sex, and millions of the billions are made in Ireland. Human trafficking is smuggling people between countries for labour, commercial sex, marriages, organ harvesting, forced crime, and child soldiers.

Thursday was World Day against Trafficking in Persons, a day of awareness of human trafficking. Recently there have been more investigations into human trafficking cases, as of 31/07/2020, 80 cases are being investigated as revealed by Justice Minister Helen McEntee.

More reporting on the topic and cases actively investigated as Ireland has been challenged for its effort in the fight against human trafficking.

An annual report by the U.S Department of State in which countries respond to human trafficking is detailed. Ireland has been downgraded from Tier 2 to Tier 2 watchlist, joining the likes of Romania and Chad. The Tier 2 watchlist rating means Ireland has made no effort in eliminating trafficking in the past year. The report does acknowledge the renewed efforts to tackled trafficking. Ireland lost its Tier 1 rating to Tier 2 in 2018 and now Tier 2 watchlist. A lack of convictions and services provided for victims is part of Ireland's poor rating.

Many of the forced labour positions of trafficked victims in Ireland is in providing a service, many of these services we will avail. Fisheries, agriculture, the restaurant industry, waste management, car-washing services, and domestic homes were the most popular industries after the sex market for trafficked people.

In the case of prostitution, a survey by Red C found that 1 in 15 men will buy sex, and those providing the service with a more likely to be non-Irish, vulnerable, migrants and trafficked into the country. The Irish sex workers are more likely to be on the streets and drug addicts. At the same time, trafficked victims are part of an organised operation that will use internet connections and home callouts, making the ordeal more secretive. Along with online connections, sex services contact will be made indoors, such as clubs, massage parlours, and hotels.

To illustrate the background of the women in prostitution in Ireland, research in 2009 estimated over 1,000 indoor services, 800 advertised via the internet, 51 nationalities. The original study (Kelleher 2009) found that of 102 prostitutes revealed to be trafficked victims, 11% were minors.  

Ireland is struggling to get a grip on human trafficking as it goes up against organised crime, made up of organisations that smuggle firearms and drugs that escape the realm of legislation by design. The increased investigations and legal cases on human trafficking are welcoming both for the victims and Ireland's reputation on human rights and the fight against organised crime.

Convictions will be the only acceptable result for every party in human trafficking, and to date, Ireland is a poor show.


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