On 15 June 2023, the United States Department of State published the 2023 Trafficking in Persons Report, which tracks and assesses countries’ anti-trafficking efforts according to a tiered ranking system. In the report, Ireland is designated as Tier 2 for the second consecutive year after being moved from the Tier 2 watch list where it was placed in 2020 and 2021.
The report noted increased efforts as compared to the previous year such as increased funding for victim care and awareness raising, the termination of the Atypical Working Scheme (AWS) for non-EEA sea fishers, the provision of assistance to slightly more victims than in the previous year, and a rectified gap in victim identification by identifying several child victims. The assessment also noted the areas in which efforts did not meet minimum standards such as continued systemic deficiencies in victim identification, referral, and assistance, and inadequate services and accommodations for victims. The report also notes that the National Action Plan to Prevent and Combat Human Trafficking in Ireland was not updated, and the National Referral Mechanism, despite proposals to amend it, has not yet been implemented.. No traffickers were convicted in 2022, and there were no reports of trafficking-specific training for judges.
According to the report, Tier 2 means that a country does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so. The Tier rankings and narratives include an assessment of:
- enactment of laws prohibiting severe forms of trafficking in persons, as defined by the TVPA, and provision of criminal punishments for trafficking crimes;
- criminal penalties prescribed for human trafficking crimes with a maximum of at least four years’ deprivation of liberty, or a more severe penalty;
- implementation of human trafficking laws through vigorous prosecution of the prevalent forms of trafficking in the country and sentencing of traffickers;
- proactive victim identification measures with systematic procedures to guide law enforcement and other government-supported front-line responders in the process of victim identification;
- government funding and partnerships with NGOs to provide victims with access to primary health care, counselling, and shelter, allowing them to recount their trafficking experiences to trained counsellors and law enforcement in an environment of minimal pressure;
- and more.
The tier rankings are not affected by:
- efforts, however laudable, undertaken exclusively by nongovernmental actors in the country;
- general public awareness events—government-sponsored or otherwise—lacking concrete ties to the prosecution of traffickers, protection of victims, or prevention of trafficking; and
- broad-based law enforcement or developmental initiatives.
For more information:
- 2023 Trafficking in Persons Report – Ireland (US Dept of State)
- Detection, identification and protection of third-country national victims of human trafficking in Ireland (EMN Ireland)