Interpol to investigate after dazed girl found outside Dublin GPO
Interpol has been called in to try to identify a teenage girl found dazed in Dublin city.
Detectives have launched a major investigation amid fears the girl, who could be as young as 14, was smuggled in to the country by sex traffickers.
A source said the teen was found wandering in a dazed state on O’Connell Street about 10 days ago and has still not spoken to officers.
However she has drawn several pictures which apparently show her being raped, with one showing men around a bed handing over cash, he said.
“We do not know who the child is because she has being unable to communicate with anybody,” said a source.
“We have no child fitting her description reported to us in this country so we believe she came here from another country.
“Her welfare is our priority at the moment.”
The girl is white, aged between 14 and 16 years, is said to look eastern European and was dressed normally when found in daylight hours.
Her photograph was sent to the international police co-operation agency Interpol within days of her being found when her finger prints did not appear on any data base.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) secured a temporary care order for the girl, but gardaí are considering getting permission from the courts to release her photo in a bid to identify her.
Plans are in place to move the girl from a Dublin hospital to a more secure location where she can also receive psychological treatment.
The HSE said it can not comment on any child in its care.
“However, we can advise that the HSE and An Garda Síochána are jointly working to ensure the welfare and protection of a child found last week in Dublin city centre,” it said in a statement.
“Under the Child Care Act 1991, the HSE has a wide range of statutory obligations for the protection and welfare of children.
“Joint working between the HSE Children and Family Services and An Garda Síochána under Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children forms an integral part of the child protection and welfare service.”
The Immigrant Council of Ireland said while the circumstances of this case have yet to be established, it warned the trafficking of children is a reality in Ireland.
Nusha Yonkova, anti-trafficking co-ordinator, revealed each year the numbers of child victims continues to increase.
In 2012, some 23 of the 48 trafficking victims identified here were children and most were sexually exploited.
“The figures should alarm us all and underlines the need for urgent political action both nationally and at EU level,” said Ms Yonkova.
“This week the European Parliament will hear that over 270,000 victims are trafficked for sexual exploitation in the EU each year with ’Mafia-type’ criminal networks pocketing €25bn.
“It is estimated that up to €250m of that is from Ireland.
“Together, with the 68 Irish organisations which make up the Turn Off the Red Light Campaign, we believe the best way to end this evil ’trade’ is to target demand, in other words the buyers of sex.”
- Sign up here to receive news by email. Once per day, no spam.