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Law Enforcement Responses to Trafficking in Human Beings in Ireland and Northern Ireland Aysel Allahverdiyeva LL.M PhD candidate & Ad Astra Scholar School.

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Presentation on theme: "Law Enforcement Responses to Trafficking in Human Beings in Ireland and Northern Ireland Aysel Allahverdiyeva LL.M PhD candidate & Ad Astra Scholar School."— Presentation transcript:

1 Law Enforcement Responses to Trafficking in Human Beings in Ireland and Northern Ireland Aysel Allahverdiyeva LL.M PhD candidate & Ad Astra Scholar School of Law, University College Dublin

2 Statistical Background In Republic of Ireland: Lack of up to date official data on the extent of human trafficking. NGOs and independent researchers claim that (a) most victims are non-Irish; (b) estimated 50-200 occurrences from 2000-2006; (c) victims come from diversity of countries incl. former Soviet bloc, Venezuela, Brazil, Nigeria, South Africa In Northern Ireland: Human trafficking identified as a key organised crime threats in 2007 (Organised Crime Task Force) 11 victims of human trafficking have been recovered by the PSNI: 6 sexual exploitation, 2 domestic servitude and 3 forced labour (December 2008, official data) In depth research is currently being conducted by the Equality Commission Northern Ireland. In both jurisdictions: Lack of official data on child trafficking (including the issue of unaccompanied minors) Real numbers likely to be higher than statistics suggest

3 Legislative framework Trafficking in persons shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs. (UN Trafficking Protocol, to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children Supplementing UN Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime (Art 3)) Ireland: Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) Act 2008 Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill 2008; currently drafting National Referral Mechanism Northern Ireland: Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 Sexual Offences Act 2003 Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants etc) Act 2004 National Action Plan on Tackling Human Trafficking, March 2007 Update to UK National Action Plan on Tackling Human Trafficking, July 2008

4 Police Attitudes towards Trafficking Victims No specific attitudinal data available NGOs and police reports suggest that both have good working relations with women generally, including foreign migrant women. In general, the attitude of Members of Garda Síochána and the PSNI towards rule of law and human rights can be best described as the law is the law and we apply it in the same way to everyone and the keystone of the police work is to treat everyone the same and to use common sense (Annual Report of Garda Síochána, 2007) Need: Comprehensive mapping exercise

5 Police Accountability for Rights Violations International Instruments: UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials (1979); UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by law enforcement officials; UN Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power (1985); Principles on the Effective Investigations and Documents of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (2000); ECHR (1950); Council of Europe Code of Police Ethics (2001); COE Declaration on the Police (1979); OSCE Guidebook for Democratic Policing (2006) National instruments: An Garda Siochana Act 2005; Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2003; Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2004; Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001; The Police and Criminal Evidence (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 2007; The PSNI Code of Ethics, 2008; An Garda Siochana Code of Ethics, 2006 and Declaration of Ethical Values; Garda Siochana and the PSNI recommendations, regulations and directives

6 Police Training & Resources Seems to be adequate, however a more long-term and practically enforceable rights-based approach is needed. Could include: Permanent and regular cross border training of the specialised anti- trafficking units Systematisation of data on investigation activities Publication of data (with due regard to confidentiality requirements) Specific trafficking-related training for all police officers incl. mainstreamed trafficking-related training of student police officers Joint cross-border professional development course for specialised anti-trafficking and immigration units Cross-border awareness Specialised training to the principal agencies additional to police (e.g. consular personnel, labour inspectors, public health workers etc)

7 Cross Border Co-Operation Generally good relations; the following could be developed: Ring-fencing of targeted anti-trafficking budget allocation Establishment of cross-border system for gathering of data and information based on agreed criteria and in accordance with international and regional human rights standards Establishment of National Rapporteur on Trafficking in both jurisdiction Establishment of official protocols and co-operation agreements clearly defining responsibilities of each party (incl. NGOs), taking into the account the confidentiality that often exists between the victim and the NGOs

8 Early Intervention & Victim Identification No clear legal identification procedure Identification can be impaired by: –Trauma & Fear –Distrust of authorities –Cultural and Language Barriers –Lack of awareness –Conflation of trafficking and people smuggling Some methods may be adopted –Benefit of Doubt for anyone claiming victim status with credibility being assessed taking particular vulnerabilities (e.g. age, language) into account –Creation of National Referral Mechanisms and Official Guidelines on Victim Identification –Creation of check lists to help in police identification –Identifying areas/places where trafficking victims may be and targeting those areas –Acting in a manner sensitive to particular nature of trafficking

9 The Investigative Role of Garda Síochána and the PSNI Factors Making Identification Difficult: Distrust of victims Fear of law enforcement Lack of Public Awareness on the issue of Human Trafficking in the communities Cultural and Language Barriers Difficultly of working in certain areas Duplicating efforts Problems in the current legislative framework in Ireland and Northern Ireland: Insufficient length of the recovery and reflection period Requirement to cooperate with Garda Siochana and the PSNI may produce irrelevant or even wrongful evidence and preclude a victim to apply for protection in due time. Credibility of evidence given by a person believed to be a victim of trafficking Residence permits as benefits for cooperation with Garda Siochana and the PSNI

10 Treatment of Trafficking Victims Victims rights: Right to information Right to protection Right to compensation Right to claim asylum Right to safety Problems in the current legislative framework in Ireland and Northern Ireland: Reflection and Recovery period. Bargaining (benefits for evidence) and resultant unreliability of evidence


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