Dáil Éireann - Volume 626 - 25 October, 2006
Written Answers. - Illegal Immigrants.
Mr. Hogan Mr. Hogan
Mr. Hogan asked the Minister for Foreign  Affairs the efforts being undertaken by his Department to work with counterpart Departments across the European Union to combat human trafficking; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34413/06]
Mr. D. Ahern Mr. D. Ahern
Mr. D. Ahern: The fight against trafficking in human beings is a matter of urgent concern at EU and international level. At the June European Council this year, Heads of State and Government identified this issue as a priority where further action is required.
A wide ranging action plan to deal with trafficking in human beings was adopted at the December 2005 European Council. Implementation of this plan, which covers areas such as the coordination of EU action, the prevention of trafficking and the prosecution of offences linked to trafficking, is being pursued through the Justice and Home Affairs Council where Ireland is represented by the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform.
Human trafficking is also addressed in other international fora, including the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), where Ireland works closely with its EU Partners. A Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings was agreed last year and opened for signature in Warsaw on 16 May 2005. An action plan on human trafficking was endorsed by the OSCE in December 2003. Ireland is also a signatory to the UN Convention on Transnational Organised Crime and its two accompanying protocols on smuggling and on prevention, suppression and punishment of human trafficking. Human trafficking is, of course, primarily a criminal law matter and my colleague, the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, is preparing legislation which will criminalise trafficking for the purpose of sexual and labour exploitation in Ireland. Ireland has also, through Irish Aid, contributed over €1.7 million towards anti-trafficking projects carried out by, amongst others, the International Labour Organisation.
Question No. 129 answered with Question No. 114.
Question No. 130 answered with Question No. 101.
Dáil Éireann 626 Written Answers. Illegal Immigrants.