Main Menu
Human Trafficking
Street Children


The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

In the early years of the 21st Century, 2000 to 2025                      

Republic of Ireland

Ireland is a small, modern, trade-dependent economy. GDP growth averaged 6% in 1995-2007, but economic activity dropped sharply in 2008 and Ireland entered into a recession for the first time in more than a decade with the onset of the world financial crisis and subsequent severe slowdown in the property and construction markets. Agriculture, once the most important sector, is now dwarfed by industry and services.

Per capita GDP also surged during Ireland's high-growth years, and in 2007 surpassed that of the United States. The Irish Government has implemented a series of national economic programs designed to curb price and wage inflation, invest in infrastructure, increase labor force skills, and promote foreign investment.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Ireland

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Ireland.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated, misleading or even false.   No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of child prostitution are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring how children got started, how they survive, and how some succeed in leaving.  Perhaps your paper could focus on runaways and the abuse that led to their leaving.  Other factors of interest might be poverty, rejection, drug dependence, coercion, violence, addiction, hunger, neglect, etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to write about the manipulative and dangerous adults who control this activity.  There is a lot to the subject of Child Prostitution.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.

HELP for Victims

Sexual Violence Center Cork
21 450 5577     or    1800496496
Country code: 353-



The Protection Project - Ireland [DOC]

The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), The Johns Hopkins University

[accessed 2009]

FORMS OF TRAFFICKING - As many as 40 children a year are being trafficked to Ireland for either economic or sexual exploitation, according to a recent International Organization for Migration report. Children between 3 and 17 years of age are being trafficked for a variety of reasons—for the sex industry, as child brides, or as workers in the underground economy.  Child-trafficking investigations mainly deal with children from Romania, the former Yugoslavia, and the coastal countries of West Africa.  Nigerian children are reportedly brought into Ireland to work in the sex industry.


*** ARCHIVES ***

Runaways - Where To Turn For Help Before You Are Homeless

Rebeccas Community -- This is for anyone aged up to 13 years old who is thinking about running away

[accessed 1 June 2011]

Here are the best phone numbers to call …They are Confidential - which means they won't tell anyone about your call unless you want them to talk to somebody for you, or you are in danger.  They are open 24 Hours - it doesn't matter what time you call.  In Ireland, call 1-800-666-666

ECPAT - Report on the scale, scope and context of the sexual exploitation of children  [PDF]

Adaiana Souza Lima, ECPAT International, November 2018

[accessed 25 August 2020]

Desk review of existing information on the sexual exploitation of children (SEC) in Ireland. The overview gathers existing publicly available information on sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism (SECTT), online child sexual exploitation (OCSE), trafficking of children for sexual purposes, sexual exploitation of children through prostitution, child early and forced marriage (CEFM) and identifies gaps, research needs, and recommendations.

Human Rights Reports » 2019 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 10, 2020

[accessed 31 August 2020]

SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN - The law prohibits the sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, and authorities enforced the law. Conviction of trafficking of children and taking a child from home for sexual exploitation carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. A person convicted of meeting a child for the purpose of sexual exploitation faces a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment. The Criminal Law (Sexual Offenses) Act sets a maximum fine of 5,000 euros ($5,500) and includes new offenses relating to child sexual grooming and child pornography. The minimum age for consensual sex is 17.

The law provides for a fine of up to 31,000 euros ($34,100), a prison sentence of up to 14 years, or both for a person convicted of allowing a child to be used for pornography. For producing, distributing, printing, or publishing child pornography, the maximum penalty is 5,000 euros ($5,500), 12 months’ imprisonment, or both.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) [DOC]

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 29 September 2006$FILE/G0645074.doc

[accessed 14 February 2011]

[74] While noting the Sex Offenders Act of 2001 that provides with a comprehensive protection of the public against sex offenders, the Committee is concerned about the lack of information concerning children victims of prostitution and on child pornography.

[76] While noting the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act of 1998 and the 2006Trafficking in Persons and Sexual Offences Bill, the Committee regrets the lack of specific information on the situation of children victims of abduction and sale or traffic for any purpose or in any form.

Man dies over child sex case - Child prostitution suspect may have committed suicide

John Mooney, The Sunday Times (UK), July 20, 2008

[accessed 1 June 2011]

Cases of child prostitution are rare in Ireland, according to gardai, though some children’s charities, including the Irish Society for the Protection of Children (ISPCC), maintains that increasing numbers of young girls are involved.

“We know that young girls, particularly teenagers from immigrant communities who arrive in Ireland unaccompanied, are getting involved in prostitution,” said Caroline O’Sullivan, the ISPCC’s director of services. “This case yet again proves that child prostitution is happening and we urgently need new laws to protect youngsters who are vulnerable.

Trafficking task force targets child sex trade, October 07 2007

[accessed 14 February 2011]

Children who are forced to work as prostitutes or in the illegal labour market will be the top priority of the joint Irish/British crackdown on human trafficking launched last week - htcp

State in child-trafficking risk – ISPCC

Aoife Carr, 17 November 2006 -- Source:

[Long URL]

[accessed 1 June 2011]

Ireland could become a gateway for the trafficking of children because it does not follow best international practice to safeguard children at risk, the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) claimed today.   The ISPCC expressed concern that the Government is not doing enough to protect separated children entering the country. Separated children are minors, generally between 15 and 17, who enter the country unaccompanied by a parent or guardian.  According to the ISPCC, fewer than 5 per cent of these children are identified at a port of entry, and more than 316 separated children have gone missing in Ireland in the past four years.

Five Years After Stockholm [PDF]

ECPAT: Fifth Report on implementation of the Agenda for Action

ECPAT International, November 2001

[accessed 13 September 2011]

[B] COUNTRY UPDATES – IRELAND – In November 2000, the Prime Minister launched the National Children’s Strategy, a comprehensive plan involving government and non-governmental partners. One of the plan’s objectives is to protect children from abuse and exploitation, and it calls for the implementation of the Stockholm Agenda for Action, including the development of a national plan of action against CSEC. It also calls for the enactment of a Children’s Bill and a Sex Offenders Bill, and the development of treatment and counseling services for child victims of abuse.

Report by Special Rapporteur - 2003 [DOC]

U.N. Economic and Social Council, Commission on Human Rights, Fifty ninth session, 6 January 2003$FILE/G0310090.doc

[accessed 14 February 2011]

[48] Sale and trafficking of children for purposes connected to slavery are criminalized under the Slave Trade Act of 1824 and under the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act of 1998 it is an offence to traffic in or abduct children for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Prostitution itself is not an offence, but soliciting in the streets, or living off the earnings of another’s prostitution constitutes an offence.  Criminal liability is incurred regardless of the age of the prostitute or client. The Children’s Act of 2001 provides a framework of safeguards stipulating how children must be treated in police custody and the operation and special proceedings of the Children’s Court.

Factbook on Global Sexual Exploitation

Donna M. Hughes, Laura Joy Sporcic, Nadine Z. Mendelsohn, Vanessa Chirgwin, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, 1999

[accessed 1 June 2011]

Most male prostitutes come from Dublin, a few from Italy, and others from Britain and Eastern Europe.  A third are or have been drug addicts, while 60 per cent were at some stage homeless.  More than 40% had been forced to have sex or engage in particular sex acts.  Almost half were paid more for unsafe sex.

Homelessness—Prostitution Legalisation?

A-Infos News Service, Workers Solidarity, No 56, March 1999

[accessed 1 June 2011]

Juvenile prostitution is directly linked to homelessness. A new report by Focus Ireland shows that homelessness has doubled in the last four years. Focus, which has centers in Dublin and Limerick, dealt with 6,000 homeless people last year. 788 of them were under 18. The government says there are only 2,500 homeless people in the entire country. The Eastern Health Board (EHB) published a Working Group Report in September of 1997. Fifty-seven people from the ages of 11 to 18 were reported to have been homeless and involved in prostitution.

Minister O'Donnell Addresses Irish Government Sponsored Conference on Child Prostitution and Pornography in Thailand

Department of Foreign Affairs DFA, Press Release, 17/09/1999

[accessed 1 June 2011]

Legislation passed in Ireland since the Stockholm Congress provides for the prosecution in Ireland of those involve in child sex tourism abroad.




Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 9 February 2020]

CHILDREN - The law prohibits the trafficking and sexual exploitation of children; however, there were reports that such practices occurred.

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – The country might be a destination country on a limited scale for trafficking in women and children. The country may also be a transit point for persons trafficked to or from Northern Ireland. There is anecdotal information that some women were trafficked within the country. Socially disadvantaged non-national women and children were most likely to be trafficking victims.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 23 January 1998

[accessed 28 February 2011]

[5] The Committee commends the numerous efforts and concrete measures taken by the State party to protect children from sexual exploitation, including sex tourism. The Committee also especially welcomes the enactment of the Sexual Offences (Jurisdiction) Act of 1996 and the drafting of the Child Trafficking and Pornography Bill of 1997, which, inter alia, awards jurisdiction to domestic courts to prosecute citizens and/or residents who engaged in child sex tourism abroad as well as those who organize and publicize child sex tourism in the State party.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES.  Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Child Prostitution - Ireland",, [accessed <date>]