October is the month when the EU Anti-Trafficking Day is marked across Europe and further afield. It is a huge opportunity to raise awareness about a crime which reaches across continents and right into our communities here in Ireland.
The Immigrant Council of Ireland is a front-line agency in the fight against trafficking and thanks to your support has assisted and helped 50 victims.
In this bulletin we outline some of our events to mark Anti-Trafficking Day on 18th Oct and will be asking you to spare a few seconds to join a social media THUNDERCLAP which will allow people across Ireland to speak as one against this evil ‘trade’.
As you are aware the political term has resumed and the Immigrant Council is again advocating TD’s and Senators to act on a number of issues. We are currently making final preparations to a submission on racism and integration to the Justice Committee and we are also hopeful that hearings will shortly commence on the issue of domestic violence.
Great news from An Post with the roll out of special integration stamps to reflect the changes which have occurred in the country. We welcome this initiative and are delighted that our partners in public transport are featured.
Our work to reunite families also continues. Among the good news stories this month was that of the Kennedy family.
Finally, I want to thank all who supported our annual Mothers and Daughters Lunch at Fire Restaurant, Dublin. We were honoured that Guest Speaker and Former Tanaiste Mary Harney was joined by women from every aspect of Irish life to support our work.
It is shaping up to be a busy period for us and again this work would not be possible without your continued support. I hope you find this month’s bulletin informative about our on-going activity.
Immigrant Council of Ireland
Thunderclap to end sex trafficking
EU report highlights shortfalls in identifying trafficking victims
New stamp celebrate integration
Kennedy family reunited
Mothers and Daughters lunch
Positive news from our legal team
THUNDERCLAP to end sex trafficking
People from across Ireland are about to speak as one in a social media THUNDERCLAP to demand Government action to put traffickers and pimps out of business.
We need your help. Please spare a few seconds to join the campaign by clicking here , click support and then choose your social media.
At 7pm on Oct 17th, the eve of Anti-Trafficking Day, social media will be mobilised and simultaneously a message will go out to tens-of-thousands of people.
This action comes as new Government figures show 48 people were identified as trafficked in Ireland in 2012 – of which 23 were children. Most victims were sexually exploited.
It is only by acting together that we will end this crime.
Euro Report highlights shortfalls in Identifying Victims of Trafficking
We are calling on the Government to act on the shortfalls in Ireland’s anti-trafficking laws which were identified in a Council of Europe report published on 26th Sept 2013.
The report by the ‘Group of Experts on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings’ (GRETA) has highlighted concerns expressed by the Immigrant Council and shows that under-reporting and failure to identify victims of sex-trafficking are weak points.
This report not only identifies shortfalls in the law but also highlights failures to provide proper accommodation and safeguards to victims.
We are asking the Government to:
Our full press release on the day can be accessed here
Improve the identification of victims by involving specialised NGOs
Provide assistance and support to all victims on statutory footing, regardless of their nationality and immigration status
Provide appropriate accommodation for victims different from direct provision centres for asylum seekers.
Appoint an anti-trafficking Tsar to ensure evaluation of the trafficking efforts , which incorporates various and independent points of view
Target the demand for sex-trafficking by implementing the unanimous recommendations of the Oireachtas Justice Committee for laws against sex buyers.
New Stamps Celebrate Integration
Sammy Akorede of Luas, Pat Normanly of Dublin Bus and our integration manager Fidele Mutwarasibo
New postal stamps are being issued to celebrate integration in Ireland. We have welcomed this initiative by An Post and are delighted that the role of our partners in public transport has been recognised.
Sammy Akorede of Luas is one of the people featured. Sammy together with Pat Normanly of Dublin Bus visited our offices to discuss the presentation on the the Dublin Transport Links Racism Divides Campaign for the EUROFOUND-European Fundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions in October
Kennedy Family Reunited
We welcomed the Kennedy family into to our offices this month. With help from a number of organisations, including ourselves, the Kennedy’s were reunited after spending 14 years apart. You can read their full story here
Mothers and Daughters Lunch
Our founder Sr. Stan, our Chief Executive Denise Charlton, author Rachel Moran, former Táiniste Mary Harney
Once again we were delighted to welcome women from every part of Irish life to our annual Mothers and Daughters Lunch at Fire Restaurant, Dublin to raise funds for our work and to create awareness about human trafficking.
Guest Speakers, Former Tanaiste Mary Harney and Author Rachel Moran, spoke passionately about the need for action to end demand for this crime. Each received a standing ovation.
This year we were delighted to welcome our new media partner Irish Tatler and look forward to their forthcoming coverage of the event.
If you could not make it on the day, why not host a Mothers and Daughters Coffee Morning? Full details are available here
Positive news from our legal team
We recently received positive decisions in a number of applications.
The Visa Office granted our client’s 13 year old son a long-stay visa to join his mother and half-siblings in Ireland. He had been living with his grandmother since his mother travelled to Ireland 6 years ago to seek employment to support them both. They will now be able to re-establish their family life in Ireland.
A client who had experienced domestic violence and left the family home with her young daughter was granted Stamp 4 residence conditions. She had been undocumented and dependent on her husband. She will now be in a position to leave homelessness accommodation and build an independent life with her child.
A woman who was seeking asylum and living in direct provision was granted Stamp 4 on Zambrano grounds after we made an application on the basis of her Irish citizen baby. It is hoped that this will enable her daughter, who has been in hospital in Dublin for over a year, to be released into the care of her family.
We were also issued with two positive decisions in relation to siblings whose step-father is an Italian national exercising his EU Treaty Rights in Ireland as a worker.