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Call for more accommodation for trafficking victims

Depaul has called for an increase in specialised accommodation for victims of trafficking in Ireland.

The organisation has been running the first specialist service for women victims of trafficking for a number of months.

It said that without more temporary accommodation of this kind, more victims will fall into homelessness.

Depaul has also stressed the need for staff to be “equipped” to work with victims.

The 2023 Trafficking in Persons Report, which reviews the progress of countries in dealing with the issue of trafficking, said Ireland continued to leave victims with “inadequate and unsuitable accommodations”.

Safe, appropriate, and trauma-informed specialised accommodations to victims was listed as a prioritised recommendation in the report.

The dedicated unit run by Depaul was established by the Department of Children, Equality, Integration, Disability and Youth as part of the Government’s Zero Tolerance Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence plan.

The female-only facility has accommodation for eight victims, where they will get additional supports as required.

The centre is currently operating as a pilot programme, with a view to “applying learnings” to further specialised centres in the future.

Depaul has worked with a UK-based charity called the Passage, to explore potential links between homelessness and human trafficking in Ireland.

While the sample size for Dublin was small, the research showed that there were victims of human trafficking living in homeless accommodation services across the capital.

It echoed the situation in London.

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