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Between 600,000 and 800,000 people trafficked every year - de Brún

16 January, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún will today speak in a debate in the European Parliament in favour of a report on preventing the 'trafficking of women and children who are vulnerable to sexual exploitation.'

Ms de Brún today called upon her fellow MEPs to 'give their support in this critical vote'.

The report by Christa Prets MEP is due to be voted upon in the Parliament this coming Thursday.

Speaking today Ms de Brún said:

"A 2005 'Trafficking in Persons' report has estimated that approximately 600,000 to 800,000 men, women, and children are trafficked across international borders each year. Approximately 80 percent are women and girls and up to 50 percent are minors. These shocking statistics do not fully convey the suffering of each individual, their families and friends.

" Ba mhaith liom fáilte ó chroí a chur roimh an tuairisc seo a phléann le cosc a chur le 'mná agus páistí a thrádáil agus iad soghonta don dúshaothrú gnéasach'. Is gránna an gnó é an trádáil daonna, go mórmhór daofa siúd atá soghonta don dúshaothrú gnéasach. Is iomaí áit ar fud na cruinne a bhfuil boradh agus fás ar an trádáil seo. Is sampla neamhnáireach é de chearta bunúsacha daonna a dhiúltú do dhaoine agus caithfear dul i ngleic go héifeachtach leis.

"People-trafficking is an abhorrent practice particularly for those who are vulnerable to sexual exploitation. In many parts of the globe this is a flourishing trade and represents a flagrant example of the denial of fundamental rights to a human being which needs to be effectively addressed. That is why I want to wholeheartedly welcome this report and call for its proposals to be implemented.

"Caithfidh sé a bheith ina phriaracht iomlán ag an AE daoine soghonta a chosaint. Ni féidir an tsúil a dhúnadh ar an an dá cheist seo - an trádáil daonna agus an dúshaothrú gnéasach - agus ní féidir breathnú orthu mar cheist a bhaineann le háit éigin eile ar an domhan.

"Fáiltím roimh bhéim na tuairisce ar spriocanna a leagan síos chun gearradh siar ar líon na n-íobartach laistigh de roinnt bliana agus súil aici deireadh iomlán a chur leis an chleachtas.

"I welcome the report's emphasis on setting defined targets to tackle trafficking in the coming years, with a view to its total eradication. Effective prevention strategies include addressing the triangle of the trafficking market - the victim, trafficker and client.

"The protections of vulnerable human beings must be an absolute priority for the EU. This report builds on past initiatives to eradicate both people-trafficking and sexual exploitation, particularly of women and children. Trafficking must not be seen as a problem faced elsewhere in the world. It is happening both inside and outside the EU.

"Practical support must be provided for those who have been trafficked into or within the EU. Allowing those who come forward to remain in the country would be one way of helping them to get out of the situation they find themselves in.

"I would caution the EU against approaching this problem with a 'Fortress Europe' mentality, where the victims of trafficking are criminalised and held in detention.

"I call upon all those with a genuine interest in ending such exploitation to support the very practical recommendations contained in this report." ENDS

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