Thursday 19 April 2018

We must unite against human trafficking

We must stand up for the rights of the trafficked, who can be exploited by those in our midst

Ruhama helped women working on the streets
Ruhama helped women working on the streets

Bishop John McAreavey

Human trafficking is an Irish crime, and we may personally know the criminal. The spectre of human trafficking exists today in Ireland. It is not some far-away terror or the fictitious subject of Hollywood movies with "happy-ever-after" endings. Human trafficking is real and tragic, and those who facilitate this market - where the "commodity" is vulnerable people, mainly women and young girls - can live among us.

The challenge to effectively tackle trafficking exists on our own doorstep, as wealthy countries are a source of demand. The first step is to open our eyes to the reality that trafficking is happening around us in our local community. Irish people directly or indirectly encounter the victims of trafficking every day.

Victims have been found in different sectors, including domestic work, agriculture, factories and in smaller enterprises, such as car washes.

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