MECPATHS (Mercy Efforts for Child Protection Against Trafficking with the Hospitality Sector) was established in 2013.
In Ireland, as in the many other countries throughout the world where we live and minister, human trafficking is a growing activity and a major justice issue. The importance of anti-trafficking training is currently being recognised and implemented across the country for frontline professionals working in the areas of health, social work, law-enforcement and immigration.
Between 2009 and 2016, 512 victims of trafficking were identified, in Ireland. 334 of these victims were trafficked for sexual exploitation: 71% were female and 28% were children. The majority of these children were Irish. The Gardaí and those working to support victims believe these figures represent only the very tip of the iceberg of this hidden criminal activity.
MECPATHS collaborates with the hospitality sector in Ireland to raise awareness around child trafficking and empower hotel management and staff to help combat this crime. Hotel staff are amongst those professionals likely to encounter a victim of child trafficking as traffickers can seek to take advantage of the privacy and anonymity of hotels. While the hotel industry is in no way responsible for this exploitation, hotel staff can play a key role in the fight against this form of slavery. When staff are trained to recognise possible signs of this abuse, hotels are in a position to alert the authorities to suspected cases and play their part in combatting child trafficking.
With input from the Gardaí and the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit, MECPATHS has designed a short presentation for hotel staff and management. Please contact MECPATHS to arrange a time for this presentation to be delivered to your hotel staff and management. This will help ensure all staff are aware of the issue, know how to recognise the signs, and are clear on the reporting procedures should a case be suspected. There is no financial cost to hotels for this presentation.
For more information, please visit our website www.mecpaths.com