THE ‘migration habits’ of Roma people leave them more susceptible to people trafficking, a senior Irish Interpol officer has said.
Assistant director of Interpol’s human trafficking and child exploitation section Michael Moran made the comments on RTE’s Morning Ireland programme.
He was speaking in the wake of the ‘Maria’ case in Greece and the two cases in Ireland this week, although he was not commenting specifically on these cases.
“It’s very important that when we talk about any individual grouping, be it the Roma or anybody else, that we don’t target any particular group just because of who they are,” he said.
“Yes, there is a problem with human trafficking within the Roma community. But it’s a problem that the Roma community themselves have acknowledged.”
He added that members of the Roma community are working on the problem.
Mr Moran also said that migration habits, going back generations, are what makes them more susceptible to trafficking.
“By their very nature, the migration habits of the Roma people, which have been in existence since time immemorial; those migration habits are susceptible to trafficking as well as the fact that there is within their community the problem of organised street gangs, child street gangs, theft gangs, organised begging, forced marriages, child marriages within their community.”
He added that many of these issues exist in other ethnic groups also.
The Meath man is a former detective sergeant with the Garda, and has been based with Interpol in Lyon since 2006.