State doesn't know how many young girls in Direct Provision have been trafficked as sex workers 1 month ago

State doesn't know how many young girls in Direct Provision have been trafficked as sex workers

"That we can't see how many young girls who are in Direct Provision may have been trafficked for this purpose, that's a really serious flaw."

The State doesn't know how many young girls in Ireland's Direct Provision centres may have been trafficked as sex workers, a Dáil committee on Tuesday has heard.

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The Office of the Children’s Ombudsman told TDs that the fact that they're unsure of how many people in Direct Provision have been victims of trafficking is a "really serious flaw".

“We don't know how many women that have come into this country have been tracked trafficked for sexual exploitation," Nuala Ward, Director of Investigations for the office said.

“That we can't see how many young girls who are in Direct Provision may have been trafficked for this purpose, that's a really serious flaw.

“I think that's why it is so important that we put an emphasis on the need for this country to introduce the vulnerability assessments."

Ward said that the Ombudsman's office will be watching a pilot scheme which will see greater emphasis placed on these assessments.

She added that by doing so, they hope to be able to see "exactly the different types of trauma, including sexual exploitation and trafficking, that people who have come to Ireland have experienced on their journey."

“By introducing these assessments we will be able to answer those questions,” Ward added.

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“We'll be able to establish who are these children and young women, and what services do they need to help them overcome the trauma that has occurred to them.”