There are a number of modern offences concerned with the trafficking of persons for the purpose of exploitation, which derives from Conventions. Sexual exploitation includes
production of pornography, causing a person to engage in sexual activity for the purpose of production of pornography,
- prostitution of a person,
- committing an offence under the Sexual Offences Act or
- causing a person to engage in any sexual, indecent or obscene act.
Labour exploitation means subjecting a person to forced labour or forcing him to render services to another or enslavement of the person or subjecting him to servitude or a similar condition or state.
- procuring, recruiting, transporting or harbouring a person or transferring a person to a place or the custody or charge of another,
- causing a person to enter or leave the State or travel within the State or
- takes custody of a person or provides accommodation or exploitation.
It is an offence to traffic a child for the purpose of exploitation of the child. A person who sells a child, offers or exposes a child for sale or invites persons to make an offer to purchase a child, is guilty of an offence. An attempt to do so is an offence. The offence is subject to punishment of imprisonment up to life or an unlimited fine.
It is an offence to traffic a person other than a child for the purpose of exploitation, whether labour exploitation, sexual exploitation or exploitation consisting of the removal of organs. The offence is committed if the person for the purpose of trafficking,
- coerces, threatens, abducts or otherwise uses force to seize or commit fraud against a trafficked person,
- abuses her authority or takes advantage of the vulnerability of the person to such extent as to cause the trafficked person no real or acceptable alternative, but to submit
- to coerce, threaten or otherwise use force against the person in whose care or charge or under whose control the trafficked person is, in order to compel that person to permit traffic or to traffic him or
- to make a payment or confer any right, interest or benefits on any person under whose care or charge or under whose control the trafficked person was and exchange with that person permitting the trafficked person to be trafficked.
It is not a defence to show the person consented to the commission of the act.
It is an offence to sell another person or expose them or offer them for sale. A person guilty of the offence is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for up to life and/or an unlimited fine.
Soliciting for Prostitution
It is an offence for the purpose of prostitution of a trafficked person, to solicit or importune another person including the trafficked person. A person other than the trafficked person who accepts or agrees to accept payment or benefit for the purpose is guilty of an offence. The offence is subject on conviction on indictment to imprisonment up to 5 years or on summarily up to €5,000 euro or up to 12 months. Imprisonment.
It is a defence to show that person did not know and had no reasonable grounds for believing that the person in respect of whom the offence was committed was a trafficked person.
In the case of action by a company, directors, managers, secretaries, officers, et cetera are guilty if the offence is committed with their connivance or consent or is attributable to their neglect.
The Irish courts may try offences under the Human Trafficking legislation where there is any connection with the State. The actual offences need not be committed in the State. Where the act relates to an Irish citizen and the act is committed other than in the State, it may be tried in the State. Similarly, conspiring or inciting in the State with another person to do an act outside the State which is an offence under the legislation is itself punishable.
Similarly, it is an offence if an Irish citizen or person ordinarily resident in the State conspires with, or incites, in a place other than the State, another person to do an act other than in the State which would be an offence under the legislation. This is triable and punishable in Ireland.
There are provisions for the exclusion of the public from proceedings in prosecutions under the legislation. There are also provisions to protect the anonymity of the victims of trafficking.
See separately the sections on child trafficking and pornography offences. A person who sexually exploits a child or detains or restricts his liberty for the purpose of sexual exploitation is guilty of an offence, subject to punishment up to life imprisonment and to an unlimited fine.
A person in the State who intentionally meets or travels with the intention of meeting a child having met or communicated with that child on two or more previous occasions and does so for the purpose of doing anything that would constitute sexual exploitation is guilty of an offence. It is subject to punishment and imprisonment up to 14 years.
A person who is a citizen of the State or ordinarily resident, who intentionally meets or travels outside the State with the intention of meeting a child, having communicated on two or more previous occasions and does so for the purpose of anything which would constitute sexual exploitation is guilty of an offence. It is punishable by imprisonment up to 14 years.
A person who causes another to commit any of the above offences is himself guilty of an offence liable to imprisonment for life or an unlimited fine. An attempt is similarly punishable.
In this context, a child is a person under 18 years of age. Sexual exploitation has the same meaning as above.
A person who is in custody charge or care of a child who allows that child to be used for child pornography is guilty of an offence liable to a fine of up to €31,743 or imprisonment up to 14 years.
Child pornography is any video, audio or combination of representation of a child or depicting a child engaged in an explicit sexual activity or which relates to a person who is depicted as being a child or is depicted as witnessing any such activity or whose dominant characteristic is the depiction for a sexual purpose of the genital and anal region of the child.
Child pornography also includes
- an audio representation of a person who is represented as being a child and who is engaged in or represented as being engaged in explicit sexual activity,
- any visual/audio representation that advocates encourages or counsels any sexual activity with children or
- any visual representation, description of information related to a child that implies that child is available to be used for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
The above definition applies irrespective of how, and through what medium the representation, description and information have been produced, transmitted or conveyed. It includes computer graphic, books and other reproduced images. It does not include books or films or videos which have been certified under the censorship legislation.
A parent or guardian of a child or person who liable to maintain him is deemed to have custody of the child notwithstanding that he has deserted or abandon the child. A person into whose charge, a child is committed, is presumed to have charge of the child. A person exercising control or having authority over a child is presumed to have care of the child.
It is an offence to
- knowingly produce, distribute, print or publish any child pornography.
- knowingly export/import, sell or show child pornography,
- knowingly publish or distribute an advertisement likely to be understood as conveying that the advertiser or other person produces, imports, sells or shows child pornography
- encourages knowingly causes or facilitates any of the above activities.
- knowingly possesses child pornography for the purpose of distribution, exportation, selling or showing it.
The offence is subject to conviction of a summary offence, 12 months, €1,905 or on conviction on indictment subject to up to 14 years imprisonment or an unlimited fine.
It is an offence for any person knowingly to possess child pornography. It is subject on summary conviction to imprisonment up to 12 months or a fine of up to €1,500 pounds, and on conviction on indictment to up to five years imprisonment or a fine of, €6,235.
The Gardai have extensive powers of search, entry, seizure, and forfeiture.