South and East Belfast Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Concerted effort by all agencies across Ireland needed to curtail sex-trafficking

Published: 6 July, 2011

Sinn Féin MLA Alex Maskey said there needs to be a concerted effort by all agencies across Ireland to bring those responsible for sex-trafficking before the courts so that they face serious consequences for the bringing this nefarious practise to this island.

Mr Maskey, a former member of the Policing Board, said:

"Many of those who are trafficked here are adolescents and vulnerable adults. They are sexually exploited, remain in forced labour and prostitution, are held in debt bondage and are victims of domestic and sexual violence.

"There have been a number of successes in closing down brothels and rescuing women from this type of bondage and that is to be welcomed. However more needs to be done to ensure that those responsible are brought before the courts and that the victims feel safe enough to testify against them. At the minute this doesn't appear to be the case.

"The victims and survivors also need to have the proper support mechanisms put in place, including counselling, accommodation and benefits to stop those rescued being brought back into this dangerous world.

"There needs to be enhanced co-operation between the PSNI, Gardaí, and immigration services across the island to crack down on what is essentially a type of slavery in the 21st century."