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EARLY LEGAL INTERVENTION (ELI): Protecting Victims of Trafficking

1 December 2014

The level of protection and support provided to victims of trafficking is the subject of a new 24-month European Commission funded project which will be piloted in Ireland.

The project, lead by the Immigrant Council of Ireland and supported by The AIRE Centre will focus on the benefits of providing early legal support to victims to ensure their international rights are protected.

Matthew Moriarty, Barrister at The AIRE Centre and liaison on the ELI project added:

The ELI project provides a unique opportunity to develop of model for legal representation that would protect and empower victims of trafficking at an early stage. We believe that it will provide victims with the holistic and expert legal assistance to which they are entitled under international and European law. 

Access to legal support is important as it not only ensures that victims are formally identified triggering international protections but are also given support to rebuild their lives. If we fail to ensure this happens then victims can be left open to further abuse, threats and intimidation.

Over the next 12-months the Immigrant Council will be working with other frontline agencies as well as Gardaí and the HSE to examine what procedures are needed to ensure victims are not left in a position of vulnerability without proper legal support.

Similar pilot projects will also be carried out in Croatia and Bulgaria – allowing each country to share its experiences and recommendations.

The ELI project will conclude with findings being announced at a major international conference in Dublin which will set out best practice to ensure victims get early access to legal advice and representation. The findings will be used to help shape future national and European policy in this area.

Find out more about the ELI Project


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