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The role of National Rapporteur is not established in
Ireland. However, other monitoring mechanisms are in place.
An Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) was established in the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform in February 2008, under the stewardship of an Executive Director. The role of this Unit is to ensure the State’s response to human trafficking is coordinated, comprehensive and holistic. In this context the Unit is engaged with over 50 different stakeholders (governmental, non-Governmental and international organisations) both domestically and internationally.

The primary advantage of the arrangements in place is that it allows for multi-disciplinary cooperation encompassing a wide range of Government Departments and Agencies, in addition to close cooperation with International Organisations and NGOs working in a variety of anti-trafficking sectors involving both sexual and labour exploitation. 
On 1 January, 2009 the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit implemented a data collection strategy based on data collection systems being developed at EU level 1 and following discussion at the interdisciplinary (NGO, Governmental and International Organisations) National Referral Mechanism Working Group. The goal of this strategy is to collect information on cases of possible/suspected trafficking by means of a standardised template from a variety of different sources (including NGOs, Government Agencies, Garda Síochána, etc). This information will be collated to provide more reliable and useful data on the nature and extent of trafficking on an on-going basis.
An Interdepartmental High Level Group, with representatives from key Government Departments was also established in 2008. This group was established by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform to recommend to him the most appropriate and effective responses to trafficking in human beings – much of which will be addressed in the National Action Plan, which is at an advanced stage and due to be published in the coming months. In this context the High Level Group is complemented by the Non-Governmental and Governmental Roundtable Forum on Combating Human Trafficking, consisting of some 34 stakeholders, and the 5 interdisciplinary groups have been established to deal with: 
  • Child trafficking issues,
  • Labour exploitation issues, 
  • Awareness Raising and Training,
  • Development of a National Referral Mechanism,
  • Sexual Exploitation issues.
A Human Trafficking Investigation and Co-ordination Unit has recently been established within the Garda National Immigration Bureau of the Garda Síochána. The role of the Unit is to assist with policy in the area of human trafficking. The Unit will be a centre of excellence for the Garda Síochána and will co-ordinate and oversee all investigations where there is an element of human trafficking and will provide advice, guidance and operational support for investigations. The Unit will also conduct some investigations.
The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform is also answerable to Parliament in relation to anti-trafficking matters.
In addition to the domestic evaluation systems in place, as you will be aware it should be noted that Ireland is also subject to evaluation internationally. This applies in the context of evaluation of our compliance with
  •  EU, UN and Council of Europe legally binding instruments, 
  • implementation of the EU Action Plan on Trafficking in Human Beings,
  • in due course, implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (by GRETA – the expert Group established under Article 36 of the Convention to monitor implementation by State Parties).
For the reasons outlined and in particular given that many of the structures in Ireland are new it is not deemed appropriate at this stage to establish a National Rapporteur.

(1) These include (a) the Institute for International Research on Criminal Policy (Ghent University, Belgium) in association with Transcrime: Siamsect/MantraSect; (b) IOM/Austrian Ministry of the Interior: Guidelines for the Collection of Data on Trafficking in Human Beings including comparable indicators and (c) International Centre for Migration Policy Development: Handbook on Anti-Human Trafficking Data Collection in South-Eastern Europe: Developing Regional Criteria.

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