State Services for Adult Victims
The range of supports available in Ireland to victims of trafficking in human beings are as follows:
- Accommodation – Provided by the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) to persons who are EEA and foreign nationals. Irish nationals are referred to the HSE and children are referred to the Child and Family Agency (Tusla). Note: For foreign nationals who are not seeking asylum but have no permission to be in Ireland, a member of An Garda Síochána (not below the ranks of Superintendent in the Garda National Immigration Bureau) must have reasonable grounds to believe that the person is a victim of human trafficking before the 60 day Recovery and Reflection Period will be granted. However a foreign national will be provided with accommodation in RIA pending that decision and during a 60 day Recovery and Reflection Period, if and when it is granted. The Asylum Seekers/New Communities Unit (ASNCU) of the Department of Social Protection will link in with victims of human trafficking (not in the asylum process) who are moving out of RIA accommodation (i.e. after the 60 day Recovery and Reflection Period) into independent living in circumstances where the person has agreed to co-operate with a police investigation and is granted a 6 months residency permission, which is renewable.
- Medical Care / Care Planning - The HSE undertake individualised Care Plans for victims of trafficking in human beings who have been notified to them by An Garda Síochána and with the consent of the victim. A Care Plan covers a range of issues including general health screening; referral to a General Practitioner (Doctor); mental health service; intervention in regard to allowances, school fees, travel vouchers, housing supplement and initiating legal support actions around housing, access to the labour market, vocational training and education, etc. The aim of the Care Plan is to enable the person who is a victim of human trafficking to gain independence thus empowering him/her to make decisions in a safe and supportive environment whilst guiding him/her through all the stages of the trafficking process. Information will be shared on a need to know basis with other organisations in the field and only with the written consent of the client.
- Legal aid and advice - The Legal Aid Board provides legal advice to victims of human trafficking on the options open to them. This facilitates each person in making an informed decision on what is best for them. There is no charge to the victim for this service. There is no waiting list, unless a large number of people are discovered around the same time. Issues addressed cover:
o Immigration status in the State;
o Measures set out in the Administrative Immigration Arrangements;
o Information on seeking asylum;
o Redress under Employment Protection legislation;
o Information on what is involved in a criminal trial for a victim/witness;
o Information on compensation – civil and criminal.
- Voluntary Return Home – The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) can help victims of human trafficking to return home, if they wish to do so. This assistance is available to victims of trafficking regardless of nationality.
- Police Services – A trained Crime Prevention Officer is made available to each suspected victim of human trafficking to advise and assess any security threat to that victim.
- Translation and Interpretation services are available when required at all stages throughout the process.
- Employment/ Vocational Training - Victims cannot work during the initial 60 days Recovery and Reflection Period. Once they are granted Temporary Residence Permission they are entitled to work and enter training programmes. This does not apply if they are in the asylum system. There is a statutory prohibition in Section 9(4) of the Refugee Act 1996 preventing asylum seekers from working.
In order to support the victim through the process of their recovery and integration back into the community, the Health Service Executive Care Plan includes a category on education/training. This category is there to help to ensure that suspected victims are 'job ready' and that any issues which might hinder successful completion of a course are resolved.