Dáil Éireann - Volume 632 - 22 February, 2007

Written Answers. - Proposed Legislation.

Mr. Eamon Ryan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when Ireland will sign and ratify the Council of Europe Convention against Trafficking in Human Beings; the steps he has taken to bring Irish criminal law into line with the requirements of the convention; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6860/07]

  Mr. McDowell: I recently announced my intention to ask the Government [530] to sign the Council of Europe Convention on action against trafficking in human beings. I also stated that it is intended, as part of the new immigration policy framework, to provide a clear policy statement setting out how these cases will be managed once it is established that trafficking has taken place. I would reiterate, however, that the lack of a specific legislative provision on the victims of trafficking has in no way reduced Ireland’s commitment to dealing with cases sympathetically as they arise. The Criminal Law (Trafficking in Persons and Sexual Offences) Bill has been approved for drafting by the Government and is currently being drafted in the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel. The Bill introduces new specific criminal offences of trafficking in persons (adults and children) into, through or out of Ireland for the purposes of sexual exploitation, labour exploitation and the removal of organs. It fully complies with the criminal law requirements of the relevant international instruments, namely, the Council of Europe Convention on action against trafficking in human beings, the EU Framework Decision on combating trafficking in human beings and the UN Protocol to prevent and punish trafficking in persons. The General Scheme of the Bill is on my Department’s website.