30 October 2012


The Integration and Support Unit  which was established by The Edmund Rice International Heritage Centres (ERIHC) to respond to the needs of refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants in Waterford, has recently become the 60th organisation to join the national ‘Turn Off the Red Light’ campaign and is asking others to support their efforts.

In an announcement accompanying the Government review of Irish prostitution laws, the Director of the Integration and Support Unit reports that: “We have reached a crucial stage in the efforts to put those who procure sex worker victims, traffickers and other criminals in the sex trade in our communities in the spotlight. The Government review of the law gives a real opportunity for change."

Traffickers have come to regard Ireland as a low-risk, high-profit base for criminal activity. Recent figures indicating the number of children trafficked, abused and exploited for the sex industry, and the number of women for sale on internet sites provide a stark reminder of the reality of this trade which is mainly kept hidden from the authorities, the public and the media.

According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime  people trafficking is the fastest growing means by which people are enslaved, the fastest growing international crime, and one of the largest sources of income for organised crime.

Every country is affected by human trafficking, whether it's an origin country where people are trafficked from; a transit country where people are trafficked through; or a destination country where people are trafficked to. Often a country will be all three. Men, women and children are trafficked.

To learn more about the issue from an Australian perspective visit the ACRATH website.

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