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Adelina Campos: Rescued women stay easy target

Many victims of human trafficking who have been rescued by Irish authorities are at risk of targeted again.

Ruhama, an organisation that supports women affected by prostitution, has warned that rescued women are often brought to centres where they are easily identifiable and can easily be victimised once more.

While it provides safe houses which are known only to the victim and her support workers to ensure their safety, many rescued women are now being redirected to hostels and reception centres -- in the case of non-EU nationals.



vulnerable

"The State now has set up a referral mechanism where women who escape or are rescued can be houses in hostels -- the asylum-seeker hostels.

"We have concerns of these hostels, they were never set up for victims of trafficking.

"We do not believe that they facilitate the care and protection that these vulnerable and traumatised women need.

"We have concerns that women could be target by traffickers in the hostels, we are women of were who were trafficked while in hostels, they are identifiable -- they are known places"

Research by the International Organisation for Migration showed the groups who were most vulnerable to retrafficking were individuals who had been trafficked under the age of 18 in the first place, as well as victims en route to assistance who were often intercepted by their abusers.

Trafficked persons were also more likely to be caught again when they returned to their countries of origin.

While there are no exact figures for the number of people retrafficked in Europe, the Poppy Project, a service assisting women who have been trafficked into sexual exploitation in the United Kingdom, found a retrafficking rate of 21pc (one in five) among the trafficked women it has assisted between March 2003 and August 2007.

Some figures in south eastern Europe are believed to be as high as 40pc.

hnews@herald.ie


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