From farming to the sex trade - Ireland’s human trafficking problem

Listen | 24:33

Trafficking of women and girls into Ireland to work in the sex industry is one aspect of a transnational crime that has been discovered in a range of sectors, from food production to fishing, forced marriages to farming, nail bars to begging.

And while trafficked people can come from all over the world, an increase in people brought into the country from eastern Europe under false pretences and then exploited in the labour market has been noted.

Victims of human trafficking have been found - men, women and childen - but there have been just three convictions.

Dr Nusha Yonkova, head of anti-human trafficking at the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC), tells In the News of the difficulty in getting accurate figures for human trafficking into Ireland, noting that while arrests give some indication of the scale of the crime, the numbers as noted by NGOs working with migrants suffering labour exploitation suggests a bigger problem.


Irish Times crime and security correspondent Conor Gallagher explains what we know about the criminals who organise and profit from trafficking people into Ireland and discusses the resources available to the Garda to combat this deadly, exploitative crime.

Presented by Bernice Harrison. Produced by John Casey.

Bernice Harrison

Bernice Harrison

Bernice Harrison is an Irish Times journalist and cohost of In the News podcast