1. GENERAL INFORMATION- SITUATION ON TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN BEINGS
The Department of Justice and Equality established the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) in February 2008 with a mandate to develop and implement Ireland’s national anti-trafficking strategy. Since then, further dedicated units in State Agencies have been created as a response to Ireland’s international obligations to provide services to victims of human trafficking. These include the Human Trafficking Investigation and Co-ordination Unit within An Garda Síochána (the Irish police force), and the Anti-Human Trafficking Team in the Health Service Executive (HSE).
An Interdepartmental High Level Group was also established with the remit of overall coordination of policy and services in effecting appropriate responses to trafficking in human beings. The Group comprises representatives from various Government Departments and Public Sector bodies. While Ireland does not have a National Rapporteur, the AHTU is in practice the equivalent mechanism as a national coordinator for combatting trafficking in human beings.
Information on statistics and contact details for the AHTU can be found on Ireland’s dedicated anti-human trafficking website, www.blueblindfold.gov.ie. The website also includes information on victims of human trafficking, anti-trafficking law enforcement activity, legislation, and the remits of relevant government departments and bodies.