Irish policy on trafficking in human beings

Human trafficking is defined in the Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) Act 2008 which specifically prohibits trafficking for sexual and labour exploitation, including forced labour in persons, and is applicable to both men and women. The 2008 Act also criminalises trafficking for the purpose of exploitation consisting of the removal of human organs. The purpose of the Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) (Amendment) Act 2013 was to facilitate full compliance with the criminal law measures in the 2011 EU Directive on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims. The Act broadens the scope of the definition of ‘exploitation’ in the 2008 Act to include exploitation consisting of forcing a person to engage in criminal activities (inside or outside the State) and expands the definition of the term ‘labour exploitation’ to include forced begging; In addition to the above instruments, the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 seeks to provide further protection to victims of trafficking and other forms of sexual exploitation. Amongst the measures included are the criminalisation of the purchase of sex, strengthening of the law in relation to child pornography and the introduction of a statutory definition of consent to a sexual act.

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