The numbers of victims of human trafficking in Ireland has almost doubled in four years, with 94 believed to have been children, according to a report by the Council of Europe.

While Ireland continues to be a country of destination for trafficked persons there are a growing number of victims being trafficked from Ireland.

The report found that 95 people were trafficked in 2016 compared to 48 in 2012, according to figures provided by the gardaí.

The majority of trafficked persons between 2012-2016 were women, with most subject to sexual exploitation, although some were victims of both labour and sexual exploitation.

The authors of the report, however, say that the true scale of trafficking could be much higher.

The findings are presented by the Council of Europe's Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA).

The report says the number of males being trafficked for labour exploitation is also on the rise.

It concludes that the demand for workers, a shortage of legal channels for migration and what the report describes as "legal inconsistencies" have given rise to the emergence of a large undocumented population in Ireland.

The report highlights a new trend of pop-up car washes run by organised gangs, in particular from Romania. These operations recruit "vulnerable, unemployed men" with the promise of a well-paid job in Ireland.

There are also concerns about vulnerable women from other EU member states who are subject to sham marriages with third-country nationals living in Ireland.

The 47-member Council of Europe (which is a separate body from the EU) adopted a legally-binding convention against human trafficking which Ireland signed in 2007 and implemented in 2010.

The expert panel has urged the Irish government to ensure that victims of trafficking are identified "proactively and without delay".

The Government has also been urged to review the policy of accommodating presumed victims of trafficking in centres provided for asylum seekers.