Press Releases  Women Advocacy 

49 Irish TDs and Senators Call for Ending Sex Trafficking from Europe to the Middle East

We, the undersigned Irish TDs and Senators express our concern about the latest report entitled “Trafficking from the Fringes of Europe to the Middle East,” published by the human rights organisation International UN Watch in cooperation with the University of Florence, the anti-trafficking pan-European platform La Strada, and the Mediterranean Migration Observatory. We are appalled and aghast that victims of sex-trafficking from Europe are treated as criminals, treated without dignity, and re-victimised.   

Petition: CALL ON THE UAE TO TAKE CONCRETE STEPS AGAINST SEX-TRAFFICKING, Labour Abuse

We, the undersigned Irish TDs and Senators express our concern about the latest report entitled “Trafficking from the Fringes of Europe to the Middle East,” published by the human rights organisation International UN Watch in cooperation with the University of Florence, the anti-trafficking pan-European platform La Strada, and the Mediterranean Migration Observatory. We are appalled and aghast that victims of sex-trafficking from Europe are treated as criminals, treated without dignity, and re-victimised.   

Human trafficking in the UAE is part of an ongoing abuse against migrant workers, especailly from Asian and African backgrounds, especailly during the COVID19 crisis.

We call on the Irish government, EU member states and the European Parliament to address the issues raised by this report and take steps to disrupt human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation and, specifically, from Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova) to the Middle East, and particularly the United Arab Emirates (UAE). We call on the government of Ireland to pressure the UAE to protect migrant workers rights.

To this end:

  1. We call on Ireland and the European Commission and the European Council to revoke visa-free access to the Schengen zone, unless and until UAE and source countries cooperate fully with international authorities in the fight against trafficking and labor abuse.
  2. We call on the UAE and other Gulf countries to end the Kafala (sponsorship) migration system that favours abusive employment practices.
  3. We call for the creation of a special sex-trafficking prevention fund, in which money confiscated from trafficking networks and organised crime will be channeled to support women from countries that do not have the resources to offer legal or consular support.
  4. We call on Ireland and the European Commission to propose additional instruments for the fight against money laundering from sex-trafficking activities, creating a specialised task force. Countries that have an appalling track-record in the fight against trafficking, such as the UAE, should be expected to draw up specific action plans to fight money-laundering practices related to trafficking.
  5. We call on Ireland and the EU to create protocols of referral that are easily accessible to victims, in cooperation with Airlines, Airports, and Ports.
  6. We urge the External Action Service and the Council of the European Union to apply pressure on UAE authorities to crack down on human trafficking and money laundering from sex-trafficking activity and create a list of counter-measures from countries that fail to meet a predefined benchmark of human rights protection afforded to victims of sex-trafficking.
  7. We call on Ireland and the EU to work with major source-immigration countries to monitor abusive practices that can be likened to human trafficking and labour abuse to adequately train law enforcement, diplomatic, and transport/logistics personnel to disrupt sex-trafficking.

Signatories:

  1. Erin McGreehan, Irish Senator.
  2. David Norris, Irish Senator.
  3. Joe O’Brien, Irish TD.
  4. Thomas Pringle, Irish TD.
  5. Paul Gavan, Irish Senator.
  6. Robbie Gallagher, Irish Senator.
  7. Gerard P Craughwell, Irish Senator.
  8. Cathal Crowe, Irish TD.
  9. Noel Grealish, Irish TD.
  10. Jennifer Whitmore, Irish TD.
  11. Jim O'Callaghan, Irish TD.
  12. Joe O’Rreilly, Irish Senator.
  13. John Brady, Irish TD.
  14. Mary Lou McDonald, Irish TD.
  15. Denise Mitchell, Irish TD.
  16. Chris Andrews, Irish TD.
  17. Louise O'Reilly, Irish TD.
  18. Eoin Ó Broin, Irish TD.
  19. Mark Ward, Irish TD.
  20. Dessie Ellis, Irish TD.
  21. Paul Donnelly, Irish TD.
  22. Aengus Ó Snodaigh, Irish TD.
  23. Seán Crowe, Irish TD.
  24. Kathleen Funchion, Irish TD.
  25. Matt Carthy, Irish TD.
  26. Pauline Tully, Irish TD.
  27. Violet-Anne Wynne, Irish TD.
  28. Pat Buckley, Irish TD.
  29. Thomas Gould, Irish TD.
  30. Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire, Irish TD.
  31. Pádraig Mac Lochlainn, Irish TD.
  32. Pearse Doherty, Irish TD.
  33. Mairéad Farrell, Irish TD.
  34. Réada Cronin, Irish TD.
  35. Patricia Ryan, Irish TD.
  36. Pa Daly, Irish TD.
  37. Brian Stanley, Irish TD.
  38. Maurice Quinlivan, Irish TD.
  39. Sorca Clarke, Irish TD.
  40. Imelda Munster, Irish TD.
  41. Ruairí Ó Murchú, Irish TD.
  42. Rose Conway-Walsh, Irish TD.
  43. Darren O'Rourke, Irish TD.
  44. Johnny Guirke, Irish TD.
  45. Claire Kerrane, Irish TD.
  46. Martin Kenny, Irish TD.
  47. Martin Browne, Irish TD.
  48. David Cullinane, Irish TD.
  49. Johnny Mythen, Irish TD.