Data Dashboards

Ireland
Measurement
Measuring the Change

using prevalence data providing the widest temporal coverage of the most complete and comparable measures available by ICLS standards.

Due to lack of nationally representative data, there is no change to report.

%
Best Target 8.7 Data: Human Trafficking

The data visualization displays the number of identified victims of human trafficking per year in Ireland. Detailed information is provided in the Measurement tab (above).

Data Availability
  • Child labour: No ILO/UNICEF data
  • Human trafficking: Case data available
Context
Human Development

Human Development Index Score: 0.942 (2018)

Mean School Years: 12.5 years (2018)

Labour Indicators

Vulnerable Employment: 10.9% (2018)

Working Poverty Rate: No data available

Government Efforts
International Aid Commitments

Total Development Assistance to Anti-Slavery (2000-2013):

12,919,225 USD

Key Ratifications
  • ILO Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, P029: Ratified 2019
  • ILO Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, C182: Ratified 1999
  • UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Palermo Protocol): Ratified 2010
Social Protection Coverage

General (at least one): 90.1% (2016)

Unemployed: 100% (2014)

Pension: 71.3% (2014)

Vulnerable: 73.8% (2016)

Children: 100% (2016)

Disabled: 100% (2016)

Poor: 100% (2016)

Measurement of child labour prevalence has evolved considerably over the past two decades. Estimates of child labour incidence are more robust and exist for more countries than any other form of exploitation falling under SDG Target 8.7.

Youth employment in Ireland is permitted only to those ages 16 and up, and is regulated by the Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act 1996. There is no data available on child labour in Ireland, most likely due to relatively low incidence.

Visit the How to Measure the Change page for information on ILO-SIMPOC methods and guidelines for defining, measuring and collecting data on child labour.

The challenges in estimating human trafficking are similar to those of estimating forced labour, though recent innovations in estimation have begun to produce prevalence estimates in developed countries.

Identified Victims of Human Trafficking (Source: GRETA)

According to Ireland’s Department of Justice, sex trafficking is the most prevalent type of trafficking in Ireland. In recent years, an increasing number of identified victims is female.

A number of State agencies are involved in combatting human trafficking in Ireland, including: the Department of Justice and Equality; the Human Trafficking Investigation and Co-ordination Unit within An Garda Síochána; and the Anti-Human Trafficking Team in the Health Service Executive (HSE)

The graph on the right shows the number of identified victims of human trafficking per year in Ireland, as reported by Irish authorities to the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA).

Key aspects of human development, such as poverty and lack of education, are found to be associated with risk of exploitation. Policies that address these issues may indirectly contribute to getting us closer to achieving Target 8.7.

Human Development Index (Source: UNDP)

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a summary measure of achievements in three key dimensions of human development: (1) a long and healthy life; (2) access to knowledge; and (3) a decent standard of living. Human development can factor into issues of severe labour exploitation in multiple ways.

The chart displays information on human development in Ireland between 1990 and 2018. Only certain sample years have data disaggregated by sex. 

The most recent year of the HDI, 2018, shows that the average human development score in Ireland is 0.942. This score indicates that human development is very high. 

 

HDI Education Index (Source: UNDP)

Lack of education and illiteracy are key factors that make both children and adults more vulnerable to exploitive labour conditions.

As the seminal ILO report Profits and Poverty explains:

“Adults with low education levels and children whose parents are not educated are at higher risk of forced labour. Low education levels and illiteracy reduce employment options for workers and often force them to accept work under poor conditions. Furthermore, individuals who can read contracts may be in a better position to recognize situations that could lead to exploitation and coercion.”

The bars on the chart represent the Education Index score and the line traces the mean years of education in Ireland over time.

 

Decent work, a major component of SDG 8 overall, has clear implications on the forms of exploitation within Target 8.7. Identifying shortcomings in the availability of equitable, safe and stable employment can be a step in the right direction towards achieving Target 8.7.

HDI Vulnerable Employment (Source: UNDP)

There are reasons to believe that certain types of labour and labour arrangements are more likely to lead to labour exploitation. According to the ILO:

“Own-account workers and contributing family workers have a lower likelihood of having formal work arrangements, and are therefore more likely to lack elements associated with decent employment, such as adequate social security and a voice at work. The two statuses are summed to create a classification of ‘vulnerable employment’, while wage and salaried workers together with employers constitute ‘non-vulnerable employment’.”

Between 1991 and 2018, Ireland showed a decrease in the proportion of workers in vulnerable employment as compared to those in secure employment.

Labour Productivity (Source: ILO)

Labour productivity is an important economic indicator that is closely linked to economic growth, competitiveness, and living standards within an economy.” However, when increased labour output does not produce rising wages, this can point to increasing inequality. As indicated by a recent ILO report (2015), there is a “growing disconnect between wages and productivity growth, in both developed and emerging economies”. The lack of decent work available increases vulnerability to situations of labour exploitation. 

Labour productivity represents the total volume of output (measured in terms of Gross Domestic Product, GDP) produced per unit of labour (measured in terms of the number of employed persons) during a given period.

Rates of Non-fatal Occupational Injuries (Source: ILO)

Occupational injury and fatality data can also be crucial in prevention and response efforts. 

As the ILO explains:

“Data on occupational injuries are essential for planning preventive measures. For instance, workers in occupations and activities of highest risk can be targeted more effectively for inspection visits, development of regulations and procedures, and also for safety campaigns.”

There are serious gaps in existing data coverage, particularly among groups that may be highly vulnerable to labour exploitation. For example, few countries provide information on injuries disaggregated between migrant and non-migrant workers.

Rates of Fatal Occupational Injuries (Source: ILO)

Data on occupational health and safety may reveal conditions of exploitation, even if exploitation may lead to under-reporting of workplace injuries and safety breaches. At present, the ILO collects data on occupational injuries, both fatal and non-fatal, disaggregating by sex and migrant status.

Research to date suggests that a major factor in vulnerability to labour exploitation is broader social vulnerability, marginalization or exclusion.

Groups Highly Vulnerable to Exploitation (Source: UNHCR)

Creating effective policy to prevent and protect individuals from forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour means making sure that all parts of the population are covered, particularly the most vulnerable groups, including migrants.

According to the 2016 Global Estimates of Modern Slavery: “Almost one of every four victims of forced labour were exploited outside their country of residence, which points to the high degree of risk associated with migration in the modern world, particularly for migrant women and children. “

As IOM explains: “Although most migration is voluntary and has a largely positive impact on individuals and societies, migration, particularly irregular migration, can increase vulnerability to human trafficking and exploitation.” UNODC similarly notes that: “The vulnerability to being trafficked is greater among refugees and migrants in large movements, as recognized by Member States in the New York declaration for refugees and migrants of September 2016.”

The chart displays UNHCR’s estimates of persons of concern in Ireland.

Underdevelopment influences and is influenced by Target 8.7 forms of exploitation. This suggests an important role for development assistance and programming in addressing these issues.

Yearly ODA Commitments to Anti-Slavery (Data Source: UNU-CPR)

A recent report released by UNU-CPR attempts to size ODA contributions that focus on tackling SDG 8.7 forms of exploitation. Ireland committed 12,919,225 USD between 2000 and 2013 on anti-slavery programming. Annual commitments fluctuate, though it is important to note that commitments at any point in time may be dispersed over the course of several years. The chart also depicts the percentage of Ireland’s GNI contributed to ODA. It should also be noted that this count does not include non-ODA assistance, domestic expenditure, or the growing flows of charitable giving directed at these concerns. The data source provides information up to 2013.

More current data may show a significant increase in spending on this programming, especially after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015 and the Call to Action in 2017.

ODA Commitments by Form of Exploitation (Data Source: UNU-CPR)

Disaggregating ODA commitments by forms of exploitation using terms listed in each project description can provide a sense of the way aid is being spent on the various issues.

The graph shows that ODA commitments to Target 8.7 issues by Ireland between 2000 and 2013 were diverse. Spending was primarily directed towards combatting forced labour. Programming to combat child labour has also received significant attention, with substantial upticks in 2010, 2012 and 2013.

Achieving SDG Target 8.7 will require national governments to take direct action against the forms of exploitation through policy implementation.

Official Definitions
Legally Defining 8.7
Forced Labour

European Convention on Human Rights Act, 2003

Article 41
Prohibition of slavery and forced labour
1. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude.
2. No one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour.
3. For the purpose of this article the term ‘‘forced or compulsory labour’’ shall not include:

a) any work required to be done in the ordinary course of detention imposed according to the provisions of Article 5 of this Convention or during conditional release from such detention;
b) any service of a military character or, in case of conscientious objectors in countries where they are recognised, service exacted instead of compulsory military service;
c) any service exacted in case of an emergency or calamity threatening the life or well-being of the community;
d) any work or service which forms part of normal civic obligations.

Child Labour

Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act, 1996

Interpretation
1.—(1) In this Act—
“child” means a person who has not reached the age of 16 years;
“young person” means a person who has reached the age of 16 years but has not reached the age of 18 years.

3.—(1) Subject to this section and section 9, an employer shall not employ a child to do work.
(2) The Minister may, by licence, authorise in individual cases, the employment of a child in cultural, artistic, sports or advertising activities which are not likely to be harmful to the safety, health or development of the child and which are not likely to interfere with the child’s attendance at school, vocational guidance or training programmes or capacity to benefit from the instruction received.
(3) The Minister may, by regulations, authorise the employment of children over the age of 13 years in cultural, artistic, sports or advertising activities which are not harmful to the safety, health or development of children and which are not likely to interfere with their attendance at school, vocational guidance or training programmes or capacity to benefit from the instruction received.
(4) An employer may employ a child who is over the age of 14 years to do light work during any period outside the school term:
Provided that—

(a) the hours of work do not exceed 7 hours in any day or 35 hours in any week,
(b) the work is not harmful to the safety, health and development of the child, and
(c) during the period of the summer holidays, the child does not do any work for a period of at least 21 days.

(5) An employer may employ a child who is over the age of 15 years to do light work during school term time, provided that the hours of work do not exceed 8 hours in any week.
(6) Subject to subsection (7), an employer may employ a child who is over the age of 14 years and who is a full-time student at an institute of secondary education pursuant to any arrangements made or approved of by the Minister for Education as part of a programme of work experience or educational programme:
Provided that the hours of work do not exceed 8 hours in any day or 40 hours in any week.
(7) The Minister may, after consultation with the Minister for Education and such other interested parties as the Minister sees fit, by regulations, make exemptions from subsection (6) in relation to the hours of work of children participating in a work experience or training programme approved by the Minister for Education under subsection (6).
(8) An employer may employ a child over the age of 15 years to participate in a training or work experience programme pursuant to arrangements made or approved of by the Minister or FÁS — the Employment and Training Authority, provided that the hours of work do not exceed 8 hours in any day or 40 hours in any week.
(9) Whenever the Minister grants a licence under subsection (2) or makes regulations under subsection (3) or (7), the Minister may attach to such licence or provide in such regulations such conditions as the Minister sees fit.
(10) An employer may retain in his or her employment any child of 15 years of age who was in his or her employment immediately before the commencement of this section:
Provided that the hours of work do not exceed 7 hours in any day or 35 hours in any week.
(11) An employer who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence.

Exclusion from or modification of certain provisions of Act by regulations in relation to employment of close relatives.
9.—(1) Sections 3, 5, 6, 10 and 11 shall apply to the employment of close relatives subject to any exclusion or modification of the application of any or all of those sections or any provisions thereof as may be prescribed:
Provided that the Minister is satisfied that—

(a) the regulations are in compliance with the terms of the Directive, and
(b) the health, welfare and safety of the employees affected will not be endangered.

(2) In this section “close relative” means an employee who is employed—

(a) by his or her spouse, father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, stepfather, stepmother, brother, sister, half-brother or half-sister, and
(b) (i) in a private dwelling house or on a farm, in or on which both the employee and employer reside, or
(ii) in a family undertaking on work which is not industrial work

Worst Forms of Child Labour

Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act, 1996

Additional provisions in relation to employment of children.
4.—(1) An employer shall not employ any child on any work between 8 p.m. on any one day and 8 a.m. on the following day.

Employment of young persons.
6.—(1) An employer shall not employ a young person on any work except where, subject to this section and sections 7, 8 and 9, the employer—

Protection of Young Persons (Employment)(Exclusion of Workers in the Fishing and Shipping Sectors) Regulations 2014

Safety, Health and Welfare At Work (Children and Young Persons) Regulations, 1998

“The purpose of these Regulations is to implement the health and safety aspects of Council Directive 94/33/EC on the protection of young people at work. The other requirements of this Directive have been implemented by the Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act, 1996.”

Human Trafficking

Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) Act, 2008 amend. 2013

1.— In this Act—
“child” means a person under the age of 18 years;
“exploitation” means—

(a) labour exploitation,
(b) sexual exploitation,
(c) exploitation consisting of the removal of one or more of the organs of a person, or
(d) exploitation consisting of forcing a person to engage in—

(i) an activity that constitutes an offence and that is engaged in for financial gain or that by implication is engaged in for financial gain, or (ii) an activity in a place other than the State that—

(I) constitutes an offence under the law of that place and would, if done in the State, constitute an offence, and
(II) is engaged in for financial gain or that by implication is engaged in for financial gain;

“labour exploitation” means, in relation to a person (including a child)—

(a) subjecting the person to forced labour (including forcing him or her to beg),
(b) forcing the person to render services to another person, or
(c) enslavement of the person or subjecting him or her to servitude or a similar condition or state;

“sexual exploitation” means, in relation to a person—

(a) the production of pornography depicting the person either alone or with others,
(b) causing the person to engage in sexual activity for the purpose of the production of pornography,
(c) the prostitution of the person,
(d) the commission of an offence specified in the Schedule to the Act of 2001 against the person; causing another person to commit such an offence against the person; or causing the person to commit such an offence against another person, or
(e) otherwise causing the person to engage or participate in any sexual, indecent or obscene act;

“trafficks” means, in relation to a person (including a child)—

(a) procures, recruits, transports or harbours the person, or

(i) transfers the person to,
(ii) places the person in the custody, care or charge, or under the control, of, or
(iii) otherwise delivers the person to, another person,

(b) causes a person to enter or leave the State or to travel within the State,

(c) takes custody of a person or takes a person—

(i) into one’s care or charge, or (ii) under one’s control, or

(d) provides the person with accommodation or employment.

Slavery

European Convention on Human Rights Act, 2003

Article 41
Prohibition of slavery and forced labour
1. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude.
2. No one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour.
3. For the purpose of this article the term ‘‘forced or compulsory labour’’ shall not include:

a) any work required to be done in the ordinary course of deten- tion imposed according to the provisions of Article 5 of this Convention or during conditional release from such detention;
b) any service of a military character or, in case of conscientious objectors in countries where they are recognised, service exacted instead of compulsory military service;
c) any service exacted in case of an emergency or calamity threatening the life or well-being of the community;
d) any work or service which forms part of normal civic obligations.

Governments can take action to assist victims and to prevent and end the perpetration of forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour. These actions should be considered in wider societal efforts to reduce prevalence and move towards eradication of these forms of exploitation.

Programs and Agencies for Victim Support

Policies for Assistance
Policies for Assistance, General

Child Care Act, 1991

Children Act, 2001

Child and Family Agency Act, 2013

Employment Permits (Amendment) Act 2014 (No. 26 of 2014).

Social Welfare Law Reform and Pensions Act, 2006

Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 (No. 2 of 2017).

to provide for offences relating to sexual acts with protected persons and relating to payment for sexual activity with prostitutes, offensive conduct of a sexual nature and harassment of victims of sexual offences; and to provide for related matters.

Domestic Violence Act 2018 (No. 6 of 2018).

to provide for an offence of forced marriage; to repeal provisions for exemption, in certain cases, from minimum age requirements for marriage;

Policies for Assistance, Human Trafficking

Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) Act, 2008

11. Anonymity of Victims of Trafficking

Administrative Immigration Arrangements for the Protection of Victims of Human Trafficking, 2008

International Protection Act, 2015

Penalties
Penalties, Human Trafficking

Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) Act, 2008

Trafficking, etc., of children
2.— (1) A person who trafficks a child for the purposes of the exploitation of the child shall be guilty of an offence.
(2) A person who—

(a) sells a child, offers or exposes a child for sale or invites the making of an offer to purchase a child, or
(b) purchases or makes an offer to purchase a child,
shall be guilty of an offence.

(3) A person who causes an offence under subsection (1) or (2) to be committed shall be guilty of an offence.
(4) A person who attempts to commit an offence under subsection (1), (2) or (3) shall be guilty of an offence.
(5) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable upon conviction on indictment—

(a) to imprisonment for life or a lesser term, and
(b) at the discretion of the court, to a fine.

(6) In this section “exploitation” does not include sexual exploitation

Trafficking, taking, etc., of child for purpose of sexual exploitation.
3.— Section 3 (amended by section 6 of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) (Amendment) Act 2007) of the Act of 1998 is amended by—
(a) the substitution of the following subsections for subsections (1) and (2):

(1) A person who trafficks a child for the purposes of the sexual exploitation of the child shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable upon conviction on indictment—

(a) to imprisonment for life or a lesser term, and
(b) at the discretion of the court, to a fine.

(2) A person who—

(a) sexually exploits a child, or
(b) takes, detains, or restricts the personal liberty of, a child for the purpose of his or her sexual exploitation,
shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable upon conviction on indictment—

(i) to imprisonment for life or a lesser term, and
(ii) at the discretion of the court, to a fine.”, and
(b) the substitution of the following subsections for subsection (3):

(3) A person who causes another person to commit an offence under subsection (1) or (2) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable upon conviction on indictment—

(a) to imprisonment for life or a lesser term, and
(b) at the discretion of the court, to a fine.

(4) A person who attempts to commit an offence under subsection (1), (2) or (3) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable upon conviction on indict- ment—

(a) to imprisonment for life or a lesser term, and
(b) at the discretion of the court, to a fine.

(5) In this section—
“child” means a person under the age of 18 years; ‘sexual exploitation’ means, in relation to a child—

(a) inviting, inducing or coercing the child to engage in prostitution or the production of child pornography,
(b) the prostitution of the child or the use of the child for the production of child pornography,
(c) the commission of an offence specified in the Schedule to the Sex Offenders Act 2001 against the child; causing another person to commit such an offence against the child; or inviting, inducing or coercing the child to commit such an offence against another person,
(d) inviting, inducing or coercing the child to engage or participate in any sexual, indecent or obscene act, or
(e) inviting, inducing or coercing the child to observe any sexual, indecent or obscene act, for the purpose of corrupting or depraving the child,
and ‘sexually exploits’ shall be construed accordingly; ‘trafficks’ means, in relation to a child—

(a) procures, recruits, transports or harbours the child, or—

(i) transfers the child to,
(ii) places the child in the custody, care or charge, or under the control, of, or
(iii) otherwise delivers the child to, another person,

(b) causes the child to enter or leave the State or to travel within the State,

(c) takes custody of the child or takes the child—

(i) into one’s care or charge, or (ii) under one’s control, or

(d) provides the child with accommodation or employment.”.

Trafficking of Persons Other Than Children
4.— (1) A person (in this section referred to as the “trafficker”) who trafficks another person (in this section referred to as the “trafficked person”), other than a child or a person to whom subsection (3) applies, for the purposes of the exploitation of the trafficked person shall be guilty of an offence if, in or for the purpose of traf- ficking the trafficked person, the trafficker—

(a) coerced, threatened, abducted or otherwise used force against the trafficked person,
(b) deceived or committed a fraud against the trafficked person,
(c) abused his or her authority or took advantage of the vulnerability of the traf- ficked person to such extent as to cause the trafficked person to have had no real and acceptable alternative but to submit to being trafficked,
(d) coerced, threatened or otherwise used force against any person in whose care or charge, or under whose control, the trafficked person was for the time being, in order to compel that person to permit the trafficker to traffick the trafficked person, or
(e) made any payment to, or conferred any right, interest or other benefit on, any person in whose care or charge, or under whose control, the trafficked person was for the time being, in exchange for that person permitting the trafficker to traffick the trafficked person.

(2) In proceedings for an offence under this section it shall not be a defence for the defendant to show that the person in respect of whom the offence was committed consented to the commission of any of the acts of which the offence consists.
(3) A person who trafficks a person who is mentally impaired for the purposes of the exploitation of the person shall be guilty of an offence.
(4) A person who—

(a) sells another person, offers or exposes another person for sale or invites the making of an offer to purchase another person, or
(b) purchases or makes an offer to purchase another person,
shall be guilty of an offence.

(5) A person who causes an offence under subsection (1, (3) or (4) to be committed shall be guilty of an offence.
(6) A person who attempts to commit an offence under subsection (1), (3), (4) or (5) shall be guilty of an offence.
(7) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable upon conviction on indictment—

(a) to imprisonment for life or a lesser term, and
(b) at the discretion of the court, to a fine.

(8) In this section “mentally impaired” has the same meaning as it has in the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 1993.

Aggravating factor: offences under section 2 or 4 committed by public official during perfor- mance of duties. 4A.
Soliciting or importuning for purposes of prostitution of traf- ficked person. 5
Offences by bodies corporate 6

Child Trafficking and Pornography Act, 1998

Child trafficking and taking, etc., child for sexual exploitation.
3.—(1) Any person who organises or knowingly facilitates—

(a) the entry into, transit through or exit from the State of a child for the purpose of his or her sexual exploitation, or
(b) the provision of accommodation for a child for such a pur- pose while in the State,
shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for life.

(2) Any person who—

(a) takes, detains, or restricts the personal liberty of, a child for the purpose of his or her sexual exploitation,
(b) uses a child for such a purpose, or
(c) organises or knowingly facilitates such taking, detaining, restricting or use,
shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years.

(3) In this section ‘‘sexual exploitation’’ means—

(a) inducing or coercing the child to engage in prostitution or the production of child pornography,
(b) using the child for prostitution or the production of child pornography,
(c) inducing or coercing the child to participate in any sexual activity which is an offence under any enactment, or
(d) the commission of any such offence against the child.

Data Commitments

A Call to Action to End Forced Labour, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking, Not signed

1.ii. Take steps to measure, monitor and share data on prevalence and response to all such forms of exploitation, as appropriate to national circumstances;

Programs and Agencies for Enforcement

Measures to address the drivers of vulnerability to exploitation can be key to effective prevention. A broad range of social protections are thought to reduce the likelihood that an individual will be at risk of exploitation, especially when coverage of those protections extends to the most vulnerable groups.

Social Protection Coverage: General (at Least One)
Social Protection (Source: ILO)

The seminal ILO paper on the economics of forced labour, Profits and Poverty, explains the hypothesis that social protection can mitigate the risks that arise when a household is vulnerable to sudden income shocks, helping to prevent labour exploitation. It also suggests that access to education and skills training can enhance the bargaining power of workers and prevent children in particular from becoming victims of forced labour. Measures to promote social inclusion and address discrimination against women and girls may also go a long way towards preventing forced labour.

If a country does not appear on a chart, this indicates that there is no recent data available for the particular social protection visualized.

Social Protection Coverage: Unemployed
Social Protection Coverage: Pension
Social Protection Coverage: Vulnerable Groups
Social Protection Coverage: Poor
Social Protection Coverage: Children
Social Protection Coverage: Disabled

Delta 8.7 received a response from Ireland’s Central Statistics Office