The legal guardian of a teenage girl found in Dublin city earlier this month has begun a legal challenge to the Health Service Executive's decision to place her in a non-secure care facility.

The High Court was told the girl, believed to be the victim of child trafficking, needs to be placed in a secure facility.

She is currently receiving treatment in a Dublin hospital.

This evening, lawyers for the guardian ad litem - the person appointed to represent the girl's interests - said the girl had been found in "very distressed circumstances".

Senior Counsel, Felix McEnroy said her stay in hospital was about to come to an end.

Under a HSE plan, he said, she is to be moved from hospital and placed in a non-secure facility in a rural area.

He said it was the guardian's case that this plan was not acceptable.

HE said the girl, given her needs, must be placed at a secure facility.

European law governing child trafficking, which is one of the most regulated areas of European Law, requires that she be provided with a secure placement he said.

The guardian was given permission by the High Court to bring judicial review proceedings against the HSE, Ireland, and the Attorney General.  

Mr McEnroy said they were seeking orders including that the decision to provide her with a non-secure placement be quashed.

The matter will come before the court again tomorrow when the HSE will have an opportunity to put its side of the case.