A concerning rise of over 20% in the number of people trafficked into Ireland include a high number of Irish children.
The Irish Examiner reports that the latest figures from the annual Trafficking in Persons Report says victims trafficking in Ireland rose from 78 in 2015 to 95 in 2016, while the Immigrant Council of Ireland says the official figures are just the tip of the iceberg.
The Council has also stated its concerns that the majority of trafficked victims are sexually exploited.
The report says that many children subjected to sex trafficking in Ireland are Irish, with other victims coming from Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe.
Brian Killoran, CEO of the Immigrant Council of Ireland, said: "This year again a worryingly high number of Irish children count among the total detected figure of 95."
Victims have also been forced into work in the service industry, waste management, fishing and seasonal farm work.
The report also recognises that women from Eastern Europe, who are forced into marriage in Ireland, are at risk of sex trafficking and forced labor.
Brian Killoran also said: "While it is concerning Ireland has not obtained a trafficking conviction since 2013, there is some encouraging activity from the Government. This includes the publication last October of its Second National Action Plan to Prevent and Combat Human Trafficking and its increasing partnership work with NGOs to tackle the issue."
Nusha Yonkova, Anti-Trafficking Manager at the Immigrant Council of Ireland said: "The Immigrant Council of Ireland and its colleagues working in the area have long been concerned that asylum-seekers cannot be identified as victims of trafficking if they have an asylum proceeding pending. Not only does this mean we are under-identifying victims, it also means many survivors are not able to access the supports they are entitled to.
"On this note we welcome the Government’s plans to examine a new model for victim identification and issue a revised national referral mechanism in 2017 and would in addition urge it to consider establishing an independent national rapporteur."