He marked the European Union’s Anti-Trafficking Day this Tuesday by thanking the people who campaigned and fought for the Act on Human Trafficking to be passed into law in 2008.
Higgins further added that women are lurred into Ireland with the promise of a better life and that the new legislation was a big step in the fight against human trafficking. He said that trafficked women had previously been unable to approach the authorities.
He nevertheless described the options trafficked women now have as a “Catch 22” situation beacuse a women who comes forward to the Gardai, is allowed a certain period of time to apply for asylum.
Mr Higgins said that, there is however no guarantee of a successful outcome to a person’s application and few women are coming forward. He added that, to date, no convictions have been secured under the legislation and it therefore needs to be rigorously monitored as to its effectiveness.
Yesterday Higgins continued his presidential campaign by addressing a Safe Ireland event hosted by RTE presenter Miriam O’Callaghan.
He highlighted that necesarry financial cutbacks should not affect women’s and children’s safety and highlighted that if elected president he would review progress on the elimination of violenece against women annually.
Higgins strongly expressed his opinion on the issue and said that violence simply needs to be eliminated and highlighted that against common belief violence against women does not only effect people of lower social classes.
Continuing his rally for female votes, the president hopeful Higgins attended this morning’s Women’s Conference at Merrion Square in Dublin.