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Foreign Affairs | Combating the trafficking of women and children

To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs the extent to which the trafficking of women and children or vulnerable persons continues to be combatted at international level; the countries cooperating or not cooperating in this effort; the actions taken or pending against the perpetrators; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Ireland is a strong contributor to European Union, Council of Europe and United Nations efforts to combat trafficking in persons.  This includes our work across the UN system, including at the UN Security Council, UN General Assembly, and at the UN Human Rights Council.

At the UN Security Council the issue of trafficking in persons is considered in the context of certain country-specific discussions. Ireland actively engages in these discussions in addition to co-chairing the Security Council’s Informal Expert Group on Women, Peace and Security. UN Security Council resolution 2331 on Islamic State, recognised the trafficking of women and girls in conflicts as a form of violence against women. Ireland also actively engages on this issue at the UN Human Rights Council and Third Committee of the UN General Assembly.

My Department is a strong supporter of the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, especially women and children, and regularly meets with the current holder of the mandate, Professor Siobhán Mullally.

Most recently, on 22 June, Special Rapporteur Mullally presented her report on Trafficking in persons in the agriculture sector. Ireland made a submission to the Special Rapporteur during the research stage and delivered a national statement during the interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Report’s findings. We also co-sponsored a side event hosted by the Special Rapporteur on the subject of her report. The Special rapporteur regularly issues statements and produces country-reports which are available at , along with the reports of previous mandate holders.  

At EU level, combating trafficking is a key priority in the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2020-2024.  The Plan’s objectives include promoting measures to prevent and fully eradicate trafficking in human beings, including by countering impunity for all perpetrators involved. On 14 April 2021, the Commission adopted a new EU Strategy on Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings (2021-2025) and the ongoing evaluation of the Anti-trafficking Directive aims to update the EU legal framework to ensure efficiency in addressing the current challenges.

Finally, Ireland provides core funding to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). IOM works in partnership with governments, the United Nations, international and non-governmental organizations, the private sector and development partners on all aspects of counter-trafficking responses: prevention, protection, and prosecution.


Foreign Affairs

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