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Assistance for Victims of Trafficking

In 2008, it became illegal to buy sex from someone who had been trafficked. This was done through the Criminal Justice (Human Trafficking) Act 2008. Section 5 of the Act provides for penalties for people who buy sex from a ‘trafficked person’. However, a ‘trafficked person’ is defined as ‘a person in respect of whom a trafficking crime has been committed’, and there is concern that this may be interpreted as requiring a conviction of a person for the trafficking offence before somebody could be prosecuted for buying sex from the trafficked person.

Victims of Trafficking Support Services
Doras Luimní provides specialised direct support to victims of human trafficking and to women engaged in, or exiting from prostitution. On first contact clients have access to a designated case worker for initial assessment and support. The Doras legal team are also available for more specific legal advice in relation to Asylum Applications or Leave to Remain. Services available for people affected by human trafficking and/or prostitution include:

Case Work & Advocacy

  • Access to a dedicated caseworker.
  • Advice and assistance with applications for Habitual Residency Condition (HRC), Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) and social welfare appeals.
  • The legal officer will assist clients to access NERA complaints procedures for people trafficked for labour exploitation.
  • Access the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) on behalf of victims of trafficking. See link for more details on Ireland’s NRM
  • Assistance making appointments with GP’s and counselling services.
  • Interpreting services (French, Spanish, Romanian, Bulgarian and Portuguese).
  • We visit clients in direct provision centres, hospitals and prisons.

Safe House: Women are referred to temporary safe accommodation via Doras Luimní staff. This is used in emergency situations only.

Accompaniment: We can accompany clients to the following appointments: GP visits; hospital appointments; counselling service appointments; court appearances; social welfare offices; community welfare officers; prison in-reach.

Liaise with GNIB: We document client’s cases and submit in report form to GNIB. We follow up with clients and Gardaí until a case can be closed. Where possible, we accompany clients to Garda interviews in relation to their trafficking cases.

After Care: Doras Luimní staff provides on-going support and advocacy once people have left Direct Provision centres. Supports available include:

  • Liaise with GNIB so residence permits are issued on time;
  • Help with moving house or accessing social welfare;
  • Support to access education and language classes.


Further information:

  • Further Government and NGO contacts. Visit Blueblindfold
  • The Legal Aid Board provide information for potential victims of trafficking in English, Romanian and Portuguese language
  • For information on your rights and entitlements in the workplace, visit Citizens Information website ‘Employment Rights Explained’:

For information on the campaigning and awareness raising work of the anti-trafficking office, please see anti-trafficking in the campaigns section here. For assistance from the Doras Luimní anti-trafficking team: Contact Us


Patricia Stapleton
Anti-Trafficking Officer
Tel: 061310328

Useful Contacts:

Agencies frequently referred to/from:

Disclaimer: This information has been prepared by Doras Luimni for information purposes only, with no guarantee as to accuracy or applicability to a particular set of circumstances. The information may change from time-to-time and may be out of date.


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