37 1 min 15 yrs

I was reading that the Republic of Ireland has reportedly been identified as a major route for the trafficking of children into the UK. Reports this morning say an official assessment conducted for the Welsh Assembly Government has explicitly named Ireland as a route for such smuggling. The conclusion flies in the face of the stance being taken by the Irish Government, which insists that people trafficking is not a major problem. A recent BBC documentary also highlighted Ireland as a child trafficking route, with one suspect admitting to smuggling children through Rosslare Port. So, who is telling the truth here? Child-trafficking is a depraved business and all responsible Governments should do everything possible to crack down on the villains behind it. Living in denial is not a great response from ANY government.

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  1. I hate to tell you but Rosslare in not part of the UK so if people are brought in there they are not being brought into the UK.

    If your point is (and the report you link to has no details whatsoever) that they are going from Ireland to Britain then the point or points of entry into the UK is what you should concern yourselves with

    Nonetheless if you have any evidence of trafficking into Ireland then the neighbourly thing to do would be to pass it on to the Irish government. Evidence mind you not allegations from one of your toy assemblies.

  2. In fairness Henry, the level of security in Irish ports is quite often raised as being insufficient.

    That’s said you do have a point. If the final destination is the UK, and if these children actually DO reach their final destination, then the security of ports in both countries must surely be in question.

  3. Perhaps it is the brutish pride of the Irish (in compelling them to the, tragically sincere, belief that the are not only the most loved but the most remarkable people on all the earth) that inhibits them from conceding this,and a myriad of other very serious failings. Or indeed inhibits them from even conceding the possibility.

    I mean as improbable as the exsistence of sophisticated smuggling gangs with a total disregard for human life in Ireland is (cough), such a serious accusation should be meet by more than arrogant and dismissive bluster from any decent folk.

    While the national vanity of the Irish persists, while the perverse revision of their own history and role in the world continues and they are not confronted with their transgressions, you cannot expect such a self flattering lot to indulging even hearing about, never mind dealing with, the rot in their society.

  4. Juan

    Maybe you have the evidence I’m asking for. If so please preseent it so we can discuss it.

    A willingness to believe an accusation because it is made against Ireland is bad enough but to accuse others of disbelieving it for the same reason is absurd.

    Let’s hear the case and make up our minds then.

    It may be true. But I would like to here the basis for the claim and the steps from Ireland to the UK that follow the alleged arrival in Rosslare.

    Is that too much to ask?

  5. As a matter of interest, is port security a devolved power? If the Welsh wanted to grab more power and money in this area then pointing the finger at Ireland is pretty much their only option.

    It’s not much use to them if the problem is coming by train from France. Or flying into Luton.

    I think I see what’s going on here. Good luck to them,

  6. There must have been enough evidence for it to be identified by the BBC and the Welsh Assembly, perhaps not anything tangible, but enough for them to be concerned. If they are concerned, then the Irish government should be concerned. We should all be concerned if children are being smuggled in to be passed on for prostitution or anything else. There is a moral responsibility on the Dail to look into it if concern has been raised by the Welsh. Why would they hesitate. The fact they are not, then the moral laxity of it needs discussing and interest about the issue of them not looking into it should be in the public domain, until they are forced into it by weight of public opinion.

  7. Henry94, Kloot –

    Too right. The British government should concern itself only with points of entry into Britain. Therefore we’ll all agree that full passport, security and customs checks must be instituted at all points of entry from the RoI, by air, land and sea.

    Won’t we?

  8. Yeah – Whether it’s drugs or child trafficking. Ireland (and I use that term to mean the island) is badly protected. It has a huge coastal area and it needs to do more to protect it.

    I’ll have to disagree with you Henry94. I very much welcome the existing border relations the ROI has with NI and GB and we should do more to honour it.

  9. Pete Moore

    I have no problem whatsoever with any arrangements your country wants to make to protect itself. That is your right as a sovereign nation.


    "There must have been enough evidence for it to be identified by the BBC and the Welsh Assembly"

    Then they should be able to give us an outline of it shouldn’t they? I mean it’s not unreasonable to ask is it?

  10. Therefore we’ll all agree that full passport, security and customs checks must be instituted at all points of entry from the RoI, by air, land and sea.

    Not possible Pete without building a big wall along the border between the ROI and NI. The ROI and the UK government, for historical reasons, have in law, special arrangements when it comes to passport controls, arrangements which suited both sides.

    Its a combination of lax security in the ROI and in NI that allows these problems to occur. The ROI could introduce such border patrols and the other measures, but its likely that those ports, land, air, sea in Britain would need to check the passports of all entrants, be they from NI or the ROI or elsewhere, and that would be seen as a political nightmare for any government…so many sensitivities involved and all that

  11. Sensitivies or not Kloot, if it involves child trafficking I’d be in favour of Britain closing it’s back door.

    Henry, it’s not unreasonable for the Irish government to take initatives on their own re child trafficking, since now very publicly attention including theirs has been drawn to it. Now is it?

  12. Sensitivies or not Kloot, if it involves child trafficking I’d be in favour of Britain closing it’s back door.

    Tighter security is required and that should fix the problem. The problem in the ROI I reckon is due to public sector spending, a local political problem. The problem is that there is a cap on hiring in the public sector. There aint enough Gardai to assign to the security task and more cant be hired. It would take a lot of time to go into this, and it would only muddy the waters for some so I wont.

    The Irish programme Prime time has investigated this issue before, so this is not the first time it has been raised.

  13. Kloot,

    In other words due to financial constraints they’ll do nothing to secure their borders whether it’s child trafficking or illegals.

    Same old same old. It doesn’t excuse doing nothing.

  14. In other words due to financial constraints they’ll do nothing to secure their borders whether it’s child trafficking or illegals.

    Im only guessing there Typhoo, I could be very far off the mark.

    Im not quite convinced that this problem is localised to the ROI. For instance, ive on a number of occasions gotten on a ferry to the UK, and never once has a car ive been in checked, let alone the passengers, and im talking about on the UK side here.

    One of the likely reasons for Rosslare being used is that its easy to get into the UK from NI, which is the same reason immigrants use that route as well. For instance, taking the Enterprise to Belfast, the only time I see Police on board is on the route back to the ROI. Never on the reverse.

    Child trafficking has to be tackled seriously, and if the ROI government is not doing enough, then it should be doing more.

  15. TYPHOO

    It is not unreasonable for any government to take initiatives against crime. It’s a core function. That’s not an issue.

    But what has attention been drawn to as you claim? An allegation? I would like to see what it is based on and I’m surprised at the defensive reaction to that.

    After all if the Welsh are seeing an increase in the trafficking of children from Ireland they must have a figure for interceptions now and from a comparable period in the past.

  16. This is an international problem better served by cooperation. One of the areas I’d give credit to the Bush administration in highlighting.

  17. Charles,

    Sometimes for slave labour, illegal adoptions etc but predominantely as child prostitutes, sex slaves and the like.

  18. ‘and I’m surprised to the defensive reaction to that’.


    Why? Don’t you feel that way when children are involved. If it were cigarettes/alcohol being smuggled then most of us would go so what, but this is children. Isn’t that where the defence comes in.

  19. TYPHOO

    I’m not questioning the seriousness of the problem. I’m questioning the seriousness of the report.

    Does it not seem shabby that allegations are being made without giving and indication of the basis for them.

    And you are saying because children are involved we should accept any piece of crap? Surely we should expect even more rigour in that case.

  20. Charles

    We recently screened this film. It has some useful links. The trailer gives some perspective and I really do recommend the film. Its damning, hard hitting – based on an NYT investigation.


    I was pleased to see many leave the screening visibly upset.

    I dont think you can resolve this issue by the usual border checks. Genuine passports are handed over to their traffickers by some children on arrival.

  21. I couldnt find this on the website before sorry:

    "The practice of slavery in the US is something most people think ended with the 13th Amendment in 1865, but in recent years it has returned in an even more virulent form. Fueled by the collapse of the Soviet Union and other eastern European countries, new technologies like the internet, and sieve-like borders, the traffic in human beings has become an epidemic of colossal dimensions. The State Department estimates that as many as 800,000 people are trafficked over international frontiers each year, largely for sexual exploitation. Eighty percent are female and over fifty percent are minors. Many people in this country push this atrocity out of their minds, believing that it only occurs in faraway countries like Thailand, Cambodia, the Ukraine and Bosnia. The truth is that the United States has become a large-scale importer of sex slaves. Free the Slaves, America’s largest anti-slavery organization estimates that at least 10,000 people a year are smuggled or duped into this country by sex traffickers"

  22. I dont think you can resolve this issue by the usual border checks. Genuine passports are handed over to their traffickers by some children on arrival.

    I wonder how does one track this then ? If children are travelling with adults who are not their natural parents, or adopted parents, should the Guardian be required to produce extra documentation validating their guardianship ?

    Or is this a case of kids being hidden in the boots of cars and buses in which case sniffer dogs on the ground searching every vehicle would be required

  23. ‘Surely even more rigour should be inspected in this case’.

    Exactly Henry, thats why doing nothing is not an option. Why haven’t the Dail asked for the evidence? Why have they not publically stated if the Welsh provided the evidence then they will look into it. AFAIK they haven’t opened their gobs tho I could be wrong, in which case I would apologise.

    The only thing that looks shabby to me, is a government who doesn’t even seem remotely interested that their territory is being used for such a crime.

    I agree with Alison also, that tighter border controls is not all of the problem.

  24. Man, it never occurred to me about sex traff. in children (to my credit!) Thanks all, and I propose tom tyler punish the offenders!

  25. I dont know how you really solve or monitor it. Supply and demand render most attempts useless.

    It needs highlighting though. With all the focus on the slave trade and its abolition this year i think its piss poor that this issue wasnt properly raised and highlighted by our glorious leaders as they wept on stage and hugged one another yada yada.

    I mean wtf was all that about.

    Ken for example took this issue as his key focus this year and didnt mention this appauling new trade once in his articles. Why am i not surprised.

  26. Kloot,

    Your link doesn’t exactly tell much,but no matter. No one is saying its only Irelands problem, or that securing borders is the only way to deal with it, but as David said, living in denial is not a great response from any government.

  27. I understand that Typhoo, but no one has yet proven that the irish government are living in denial. It often takes time for new laws and measures to take effect. As one of the links shows, gardai are being trained for the specific purpose of catching these people trafficers.

    The problem of trafficing is a European problem and Ireland will need to play its part in solving the problem

  28. The "Billy" who made the comment about "Nordie a***holes" wasn’t me!


    Child Trafficking is one of the major obscenities in the modern world. There is no doubt that Ireland could make improvements in it’s security (as could every other country).

    However, instead of making a sensible contribution on a very serious subject, you just use this thread for a pathetic, ill-informed, hate-filled attack on Ireland and the Irish in general.

    Frankly, it just shows you up for the hateful bigot that you are.

  29. ONEILL

    That is an interesting article.

    The figure of 330 children in the last three years comes from a report earlier this year by the Child Exploitation Online Protection Centre.

    They say that, of that figure, at least 65 entered through seaports and “the trend is relatively strongly represented by the figures from west coast seaports”.

    More boys (50) are known to have entered this way than girls (15).

    It adds that “an increasing trend of children entering in from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland has also been noted anecdotally”.


    Gwenda Thomas, the Deputy Social Affairs Minister who launched the guidance last week, told Wales on Sunday: “It’s very, very difficult indeed to measure the full extent of it. I haven’t seen any of that evidence [of children being trafficked through Wales] but I think that’s highly possible, yes, and hence the reason that this guidance has been issued in Wales.

    “I have not had direct involvement with any trafficked child myself either in my time as a deputy minister or as an AM.”

    The guidance was based on similar UK-wide advice, she said.

    BUT Wyn Parry, Port Manager at Holyhead, the most common route from Ireland to Wales, says he had seen no evidence his port was being used to traffic children into the UK.

    “It’s not something we’re aware of, if I’m honest with you,” he says.

    “We have, roughly speaking, 65-plus Special Branch police officers and 15 from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, and that’s their function. We’re not aware as a port or a ferry company that it’s a big issue.

    “We certainly haven’t been approached by anybody to tell us that it is an issue. The Irish immigration people are certainly pretty tough so I’d like to see the proof that Ireland is an easy place to get into in the first place.

    “We’ve a pretty robust border presence here. I wouldn’t have thought Holyhead was an easy place to get into.”

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