“When we look at the global number it is estimated that over 40 million people suffer from human trafficking, also referred to as Modern Day Slavery, today. If we think of the times of the transatlantic slave trade which were shocking times, during the two centuries, there was about 15 million people in slavery. So the problem is worse now.

“Trafficking is about being moved, being kept, being harboured, being recruited, for the purpose of exploitation. Which can be forced labour, domestic servitude, forced criminality, sexual exploitation or in some cases, and thankfully this does not happen in Ireland, for people’s organs. So there is so many things that human trafficking is connected to. It is a gender issue, because 70% of the trafficked victims are women. That goes up to 92% when it is sexual exploitation. …

“If we turn it back to here in Ireland, I have met women who have been trafficked into and within Ireland and used as a commodity. The people controlling them have often been Irish people, the people using the service have been Irish people. .. We have now turned people into a commodity and that generates income and profit to $150 billon a year. “We need to open our eyes. Ireland is not achieving international standards on what is a human rights issue, as well as a criminal justice issue. At the moment Ireland has been downgraded at the international standards which means it is not meeting international standard that is expected of a country like Ireland.

“We can talk about human trafficking in a very complex way, we can talk about it in legal terms, talk about it in terms of department failings. But let’s talk about it in human terms. Let’s talk about when I have been around the world and I have met young girls who have been moved to Eritrea, down to the Lake Chad basin and into Libya and kept three months in what is called connecting houses. These 14 / 15 year old girls are raped everyday. Sold for prostitution, sometimes 20 times a day. Then when they have been used enough, and earned enough money for their captures, they are given a seat on a dangerous vessel that then goes across the Mediterranean. They could end up in anywhere in Europe; a brothel in London, a brothel in Dublin. I meet boys in the same situation, in the same places, who have been promised contracts with big premier league football teams. They are told they are going to earn millions, and they really believed it. But they were also destined for sexual exploitation in Europe.

Kevin Hyland OBE: Kevin is a renowned international specialist in the fight against modern slavery and human trafficking. His expertise has been shaped by 30 years experience as an officer in London’s Metropolitan Police Service, notably, as head of the Human Trafficking Unit. In 2014 Kevin was appointed as the UK’s Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner. In 2015 Kevin was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.), acknowledging his outstanding service in combating human trafficking.



• Sunday 5th July, 2020 at 7am
• Repeated on Saturday 11th July, 2020 at 9pm

Newstalk explores modern day slavery, also known as Human Trafficking.

Trafficking of human beings, referred to as modern day slavery, is one of our largest humanitarian crises, with over 40 million adults and children enslaved worldwide. Half of these people are sold into the sex trade, the majority of whom are women and children. Ireland is not immune to this global catastrophe. The annual Trafficking in Persons Report, published recently by the US Department of State, further downgraded Ireland to ‘Tier 2 – watch list”, criticising the country for major failings in its treatment of human trafficking victims. Human trafficking is a growing criminal activity and justice issue here in Ireland. The need for public awareness is paramount. The statistics are frightening and overwhelming.

How do we respond to such an issue? An Irish charity MECPATHS (Mercy Efforts for Child Protection Against Trafficking with the Hospitality Sector) took one small step. Hotels are known as one of the places where women and children are sex trafficked. MECPATHS is working with hotel groups to deliver training programmes for hotel staff on the indicators and protocol of reporting child sex trafficking. Do Disturb is about the importance of increasing public awareness and understanding that no matter how overwhelming this global issue is, there is something we can do to bring about change.

Do Disturb is a Curious Broadcast production funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the television license fee.

Do Disturb is broadcast on Newstalk 106 – 108FM on Sunday 5th July, 2020 at 7am and gain on Saturday 11th July, 2020 at 9pm

The programme will be available for download from newstalk.com after the broadcast. For further information, please contact Patricia Baker, Curious Broadcast: patricia@curiousbroadcast.com or 087 830 8046.