The Government has published the Criminal Law Human Trafficking Bill 2007, which will create several trafficking offences.

Speaking this afternoon, the Minister for Justice, Brian Lenihan, said there is no evidence of a substantial human trafficking problem in Ireland. However, he said any level of what he called a despicable crime is deplorable and not acceptable.

The legislation creates serious offences which will give gardaí greater power to act on the problem of trafficking.

The new legislation covers the labour and sexual exploitation of adults and children. It will bring Ireland into compliance with various elements of EU and UN trafficking policies.

The minister also confirmed that a National Action Plan to combat human trafficking will be drafted by a high level group, ensuring that Ireland can comply with all relevant international instruments.

Amnesty International has welcomed the publication of the bill but expressed concerns about the lack of measures to support and protect the victims of trafficking.