Issue Date: 26th November 2021
On the 11th and 12th of November 2021, the Garda National Protective Services Bureau participated in pan-European wide joint action days. The action days targeted human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation, forced criminality, and forced begging. The operation took place under the umbrella of the Europol ‘EMPACT’ framework.
In Ireland, The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 criminalises the purchase of sexual services and the soliciting or purchasing of sex from a trafficked person. An Garda Síochána’s two day operation focused on an enforcement strategy of this legislation to target persons involved in the purchase of sexual services and the protection of individuals engaged in the Sex Trade.
The national days of action comprised of personnel attached to the GNPSB and local Detective and Protective Service Units across sixteen Garda divisions throughout the jurisdiction.
An Garda Síochána carried safeguarding visits nationally to individuals within the sex trade, with the view to identifying individuals who are potentially being sexually exploited or trafficked.
The results of the days of action
- 45 safeguarding visits conducted with individuals working in the Sex Trade (some locations had multiple persons) • 77 persons questioned on suspicion of having purchased Sexual Activity • 1 female victim of Sexual/Labour Exploitation identified • 1 male arrested for crimes relating to brothel keeping • €10,170 seized as proceeds of crime for organized prostitution • 16 Garda Divisions across Ireland targeted (Locations of High Demand) • 58 premises across Ireland targeted during the Days of Action (All related to the Sex Trade)
A number of files will now be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions from the results of these 2 days of action.
8th - 12th November 2021: Europol supported large-scale international action against trafficking in human beings in twenty-nine countries.
EMPACT: In 2010, the European Union set up a four-year Policy Cycle to ensure greater continuity in the fight against serious international and organised crime. In 2017, the Council of the EU decided to continue the EU Policy Cycle for the 2018 - 2021 period. It aims to tackle the most significant threats posed by organised and serious international crime to the EU. This is achieved by improving and strengthening cooperation between the relevant services of EU Member States, institutions and agencies, as well as non-EU countries and organisations, including the private sector where relevant. Trafficking in human beings is one of the priorities for the Policy Cycle.