It is estimated that there are 8000 people living in modern slavery in Ireland (GSI 2018). Men, women and children are subjected to sex trafficking, forced labour and forced criminal activity. Irish citizens are trafficked within the country, with overseas victims being trafficked from Nigeria, Romania, Indonesia, Brazil and Pakistan. Hannah was forced in to commercial sexual exploitation by her boyfriend in Ireland.
UK children continue to be subjected to sex trafficking within the country. Children in the care system and unaccompanied migrant children are particularly vulnerable to trafficking. The latest government statistics derived from the UK National Referral Mechanism in 2014 reveal 2,340 potential victims of trafficking from 96 countries of origin, of whom 61 percent were female and 29 percent were children. At least one child a day is trafficked into Britain according the to the Human Trafficking Foundation, with children forced to work in the sex industry, domestic service, cannabis cultivation or as criminal on the streets. Child victims of human trafficking primarily originate from Romania, Vietnam, Nigeria, and from within the UK itself. After her mum left home and her dad started drinking, Alisha looked for friendship in a group of older people outside of school. Thinking they cared about her, Alisha accepted alcohol and drugs from them. Once she became hooked, her friends demanded she pay them for what they had given her, forcing her to perform sexual services under the threat of violence.
The United Kingdom remains a significant destination for men, women and children trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labour. Originating primarily from Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia, people travel to the UK under promises of a better education, job opportunities and quality of life. As noted in the UK government’s 2015 review of modern slavery, migrant workers are trafficked to the UK for forced labour in agriculture, construction, food processing and domestic servitude. The latest government statistics derived from the UK National Referral Mechanism in 2014 reveal 2,340 potential victims of trafficking from 96 countries of origin, of whom 61 percent were female and 29 percent were children. Unable to find a job in Lithuania, Adam found a job in farming online with an agency in Northern Ireland. While the advertisement promised good pay and help with accommodation, upon arrival he was forced to live in a small caravan with no heating or electricity with five other people. He was forced to work long hours without breaks and was only allowed to leave the farm to buy food from a specific store chosen by his employer. With his passport confiscated and unable to save any money, Adam didn’t know how to get out of his situation.
The UK National Crime Agency estimates 3,309 potential victims of human trafficking came into contact with the State or an NGO in 2014. The latest government statistics derived from the UK National Referral Mechanism in 2014 reveal 2,340 potential victims of trafficking from 96 countries of origin, of whom 61 percent were female and 29 percent were children. Of those identified through the NRM, the majority were adults classified as victims of sexual exploitation followed by adults exploited in the domestic service sector and other types of labour exploitation. The largest proportion of victims was from Albania, followed by Nigeria, Vietnam, Romania and Slovakia. Anna was out with friends in Hungary when she was offered a job at a restaurant in Northern Ireland. Ready for a fresh start Anna travelled to Belfast where she was taken to a flat. However, after a few days Anna’s passport was taken and she was forced to work as a prostitute. Moved every couple of weeks Anna was afraid to escape as her trafficker had threatened the lives of her family if she did.