WASHINGTON DC - Ireland has not convicted any traffickers in the last year, the US State Department has found. This report cited the investigation "Hands on Deck" supported by the Modern Slavery Unveiled grant programme. 

The US Department of State has found that Ireland is failing to meet the minimum standards required to combat human trafficking in a report. 

The Department, which leads US foreign policy, released its annual Trafficking in Persons Report yesterday, ranked Ireland in the second tier of countries with respect to the State’s efforts to acknowledge and combat trafficking for the second year running. 

That Ireland has not convicted any traffickers in the last year was one of the key issues highlighted in the report. The investigation "Hands on Deck", written by Maria Delaney, Geela Garcia and Louise Lawless, has looked extensively into trafficking in Ireland’s fishing industry and was cited in the US Department’s report. 

Recruited to Ireland with the promise of good wages, fishers from the Philippines - often in debt after paying illegal recruitment fees - travel across the world to provide better opportunities for themselves and their families. But a work permission scheme, introduced following exposure of trafficking and exploitation of undocumented workers in the sector, has now become a vehicle to exploit the same workers it was introduced to protect, according to workers' advocates. 

Read the investigation here


© Geela Garcia