Challenges to migrant integration and human trafficking problems were outlined by the International Organisation for Migration Ireland, as part of Dublin’s Inclusion and Integration Week 2022. During the event, D/Supt Derek Maguire from the Garda National Protective Services Bureau said that their strategy is ongoing against organised crime gangs operating trafficking rings and urged more people to report their concerns.
Ireland is taking significant steps to combat human trafficking in responding to the needs of victims in this country and is working closely with its partners abroad. The National Action Plan to Prevent and Combat Human Trafficking takes a victim-centred and human rights-based approach and An Garda Síochána has a specialist unit dedicated to anti-human trafficking in this country.
The Human Trafficking Investigation & Co-ordination Unit (HTICU) was set up by the Garda National Protective Services Bureau in 2015 to investigate human trafficking and related offences, north and south of the border, and on an international scale.
“We provide advice, support and operational assistance to all human trafficking investigations nationwide. We also proactively investigate potential human trafficking offences and are pursuing a focused strategy against organised crime gangs who are operating these trafficking rings,” noted D/Supt Derek Maguire, Head of the HTICU within the Bureau.
A long-standing member of An Garda Síochána for over 28 years, D/Supt Maguire who has been in this role with the Bureau for the past two years, said that there was and still is “a limited knowledge” of human trafficking throughout Ireland.
“We also proactively investigate potential human trafficking offences and pursue a strategy of organised crime investigations. We want to get the message out there for more people to recognise the signs of human trafficking and to report it. Those people who are trafficked are commodities for unscrupulous traffickers who are part of very structured organised crime gangs; the only reason they do it is for financial gain and to exploit human beings for their own gains; that’s how heinous this crime can be.”