January 15th

ICI MeetingThe Immigrant Council of Ireland hosted the final ELI partner meeting after the international conference on the 15th of January, 2016. Updates on trafficking issues in each partner country were discussed during the meeting. Training events and dissemination seminar updates from each of the partners were also presented.

 Project management issues were brought to the attention of each partner member, which included financial updates and final reporting obligations (ICI, Aoife McNamara), communications updates and partner obligations (ICI, Jerry O’Connor), and the timeline for the remainder of the project (ICI, Heilean Rosenstock-Armie).

The final discussion of the partner meeting focused on the planning session for the Brussels Briefing and Training Sessions that will take place on the 26th of January.

  October 1-2

IMG_5967The penultimate ELI partner meeting was held in Sofia on the   1st and 2nd of October hosted by the Bulgarian partner BGRF.  A roundtable with Bulgarian stakeholders was extremely informative.  Presentations were given by a representative of the National Commission for Combatting Trafficking, a member of parliament, a judge, a representative of the ministry for foreign affairs, a member of the border police as well as NGO representatives. 

A lively debate followed with particular focus on the return of victims of trafficking to Bulgaria, especially children.  On day two the ELI training toolkit was presented and discussed in detail.  It was a very productive two days.   

 April 16-17

 Croatia Women War Victims- Rosa hosted the third Early Legal Intervention Partner meeting in Zagreb on the 16th and 17th of April. 

This included a roundtable with Croatian Stakeholders including from the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Justice as well as the Office of the National Anti-Trafficking Coordinator of Croatia, the Association for Witnesses and Victims and Independent Lawyers. 

There was also an opportunity for a meeting of the International Advisory Committee with Esohe Agatise of Equality Now and Denise Charlton of the EU Expert Group on Human Trafficking.

The partners had an opportunity to discuss the ongoing pilot projects and share case studies.  The next partner meeting will take place in Bulgaria in the Autumn.

February 26

Croatia CWWV-Rosa NAC

The Centre for Women War Victims – Rosa, the Croatian partners in the Upholding Rights: Early Legal Intervention for Victims of Trafficking project, held their first National Advisory Committee meeting this week in the House of Europe in Zagreb, Croatia.

There were 27 attendees at the meeting with representation from the legal sector, a variety of NGOs and from state institutions such as the office of the National Coordinator for Suppression of Trafficking, the Governmental Office for Human Rights and Rights of National Minorities, the Ministry for Social Welfare and Youth.

January 15

ICI's Denise and Heilean with Ursula O'Hare and Siobhan Mullally at the national Advisory Committee meeting

The ICI hosted its inaugural meeting of a National Advisory Committee Meeting on the delivery of early legal intervention to victims of human trafficking for sexual exploitation on the 15th of January. 

The national Advisory Committee is made up of national experts in the area of anti-trafficking from government agencies such as the Department of Justice Anti Human Trafficking Unit, HSE and TUSLA and An Garda Síochána as well as members of civil society, academics and legal practitioners.    

The ICI was delighted that Siobhan Mullally, professor of Law at UCC and member of GRETA spoke to the committee and shared her expertise as did Ursula O Hare, Acting Director of the Law Centre of Northern Ireland.            

November 10-11

Esohe Aghatise presentation

The AIRE centre in London was host to the second Partner meeting for the Upholding Rights! ELI project.

The two-day event included updates from all partners on their work within their countries, an advisory group meeting, consultation with our International Experts and training for pilots to be delivered on best practice across three of our partner groups. It also involved the formal introduction of the Centre for Women War Victims, who have joined the project as MONIKA have finished their time with the partnership.

The pilots will be delivered through the Immigrant Council of Ireland, BGRF (Bulgaria) and Centre for Women War Victims – ROSA (Croatia). The pilots will take place along an agreed Conceptual Framework based on the research, aiming to test the model for ELI within real parameters (e.g. brothel raids, hospitals, asylum centres).

Presentations were delivered by 2 members of the project’s Expert Advisory Committee, Esohe Aghatise and Ann Hamilton.


October 17th

Legal Int EU Anti-T Day

Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald, speaking at our ELI event to mark EU Anti-Trafficking Day

Lead partner of the Early Legal Intervention project, the Immigrant Council of Ireland, hosted an event to mark the EU Anti-Trafficking Day. The speakers on the day were Denise Charlton, CEO of the Immigrant Council, Lauren Hersh of Sanctuary for Families NYC, and Katie Mannion, solicitor for the Immigrant Council.

A keynote address was delivered by Irish Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald, whose positive comments towards commitment to change were met with resounding applause from the full house in attendance.

Guests at the event included representatives from across the civic and political spectrum, including John O’Driscoll, Detective Chief Superintendant of the Garda National Investigation Bureau, a variety of ambassadors and TDs, Irish Congress of Trade Unions representatives and representatives of dozens of national-level organisations.

The Immigrant Council of Ireland have welcomed the Minister’s remarks and look forward to assisting her in working to ensure safe and early legal intervention for any suspected victims of trafficking in the Ireland.


October 15th


The Immigrant Council of Ireland, along with its partners met at the European Parliament in 15 Oct. 2014 to present the Project to Brussels-based stakeholders. The event, hosted by Ms Malin Bjork, MEP included numerous high profile speakers. Zoi Sakeliadou, from the Office of the EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator, presented on the EU legal and policy framework addressing trafficking in human beings.

Lauren Hersh, Director of Anti-Trafficking Policy and Advocacy at the Sanctuary for Families, New York, USA outlined her expertise in effective anti-trafficking strategies in the USA.

Nusha Yonkova, Anti-Trafficking Manager at the Immigrant Council of Ireland detailed the ISEC-funded project ’Upholding Rights! Early Legal Intervention for Victims of Human Trafficking’.

There was a large turnout for the event, with over 50 people in attendance.

Lively discussions ensued following the presentations, with many participating in the questions and answers session.

A later Roundtable Discussion was held with an International Advisory Committee (insert names here). Dr.  Monica O’ Connor, researcher, presented on the preliminary findings of the comparative study.

Kirsty Thomson, solicitor at Legal Services Agency detailed the best practices identified and potential barriers considered in early legal intervention.

Katie Mannion, Solicitor at the Immigrant Council of Ireland presented on a practical example of the importance of ELI.

A discussion surrounding the comparative research, and pilots followed. Information was shared with regards to obstacles and solutions for early legal intervention, awareness of similar ongoing projects, as well as the measuring of outcomes for victims and the evaluation process.


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