Human Trafficking, Exploitation and Abuse

Human trafficking happens when a person is tricked, trapped or coerced into being exploited for another person’s private gain or profit. It is a crime and can take various forms, such as sexual exploitation, forced labour, domestic servitude, slavery or similar practises, gender-based violence, forced begging or criminality.

Many people will want to help you on your journey, and after you arrive in Ireland. However, not everyone may be who they say they are; some people may wish to take advantage of your situation.

For example, they may promise you accommodation, transport, or free food, and use this as a way to pressure you into sexual acts, work or other services you do not agree with. Or they may want to harm you or take your documents or other belongings.

If you are a victim of trafficking, or you have a suspicion that someone else is, you should contact the Irish police force, an Garda Síochána, who are available to help. 

In an emergency please call 999 / 112.

You can also contact the police:

  • At your local Garda station
  • By telephone on 1800 666 111 daily from 9am to 9pm. This freephone number is monitored by trained Gardaí (members of the police).
  • Or you can email your concerns or suspicions to [email protected]

Every contact with An Garda Síochána (police) will be treated in strict confidence.

For information on more services available to you please see here.

There are signs you can look for to keep yourself and your family safe. For example, be alert if someone:

  • is asking for your passport or other identification documents (apart from public authorities, for example at immigration check points);
  • is asking for your phone, laptop or other means of communication;
  • wants to remove you from your family or others you are travelling with;
  • is offering you a job that sounds too good to be true;  
  • is pressuring you to perform work, services or sex (including to repay ‘debts’);
  • is offering you assistance – such as food – only if you do ‘services’;
  • is promising to help you get registered, relocated or resettled to another country for payment (except for regular transportation fees);
  • is hiring you but not paying you, or paying only part of what was promised;
  • is hiring you, but not giving you decent working conditions or limiting your movement, for example by taking your documents or locking the door.

There are steps you can take to stay safe:

  • Be alert and follow your own intuition about people you don’t know.
  • Always hold onto your documents. Take copies of them on your phone and send them to someone you trust.
  • Keep in touch with your family and other people you trust.
  • Know your rights and where you can access help.
  • Seek reliable information from trusted sources.

If you are looking for a place to stay:

  • The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth provides accommodation for international protection applicants and persons granted Temporary Protection. To request accommodation from The Department please request this upon registration or contact: the Ukraine Temporary Accommodation Team at [email protected] if you fled Ukraine and have Temporary Protection or [email protected] if you are an international protection applicant.  
  • Use organised accommodation by known organisations, if possible.
  • If using an online service provider, make sure to select hosts that have a positive rating and look at the reviews on the page.
  • If you stay with private individuals, try to ask around about the person first. You can ask the person to show you their identity document. Don’t accept to be removed from your family or those you arrived with, and don’t give away your documents. Ask if anything is expected of you in return and always agree on a price on beforehand.  Tell someone you trust where you will be staying and who you will be staying with.

If you are looking for transportation:

  • Use organised transportation by known providers, as far as this is possible.
  • Don’t accept to be removed from your family or those you arrived with, and don’t give away your documents. Always agree on a price on beforehand.