Identifying Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings in Asylum and Forced Return Procedures: Ireland
The aim of this report is to explore the interaction between procedures for asylum, procedures for forced return and procedures for victims of human trafficking. Ireland's legal and institutional framework for action against human trafficking has progressed significantly in recent years. However two broad issues remain regarding the identification of these victims. Firstly, in the wider identification context, no system exists for the formal identification of all victims of trafficking, irrespective of nationality and immigration status. Potential victims thus face differences in treatment, access to protection and assistance measures, depending on what part of the immigration system they fall under. Proactive screening is limited within the protection system, with reliance on self-reporting evident particularly at appeal and forced return stages. Secondly, (potential) victims of trafficking who are in the asylum process do not currently have simultaneous access to the Administrative Immigration Arrangements for the Protection of Victims of Human Trafficking (AIA), which are often interpreted as analogous to official identification. As a result such persons are not formally identified as (potential) victims of trafficking, with implications for their access to certain targeted supports, as well as their accrual of legal residence in the state. In addition ambiguity exists over access to the AIA by persons making representations regarding "leave to remain" in Ireland in particular, as well as in the case of EEA nationals.