UK & World News
Dublin: 'Abused Child' Found Wandering Streets
Police fear a teenager who was found wandering the streets of Dublin may be the victim of sex trafficking after she drew them pictures of herself apparently being raped.
Interpol has been called in to try to identify the girl, who could be as young as 14.
She was found in a dazed state on O'Connell Street about 10 days ago and is yet to speak to officers.
However, she has reportedly drawn several pictures which apparently show her being raped, with one illustrating men around a bed handing over cash.
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 Irish Health Service Executive (HSE) has secured a temporary care order for the girl, but police are considering getting permission from the courts to release her photo to try to identify her.
The girl is white, aged between 14 and 16 years, and is said to look Eastern European. She was dressed normally when she was found in daylight hours.
"We do not know who the child is because she has being unable to communicate with anybody," said an unidentified 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 Immigrant Council of Ireland said while the circumstances of this case were yet to be established, the trafficking of children was a reality in the country.
In 2012, some 23 of the 48 trafficking victims identified were children and most were sexually exploited.
Nusha Yonkova, an anti-trafficking co-ordinator, said: "The figures should alarm us all and underlines the need for urgent political action both nationally and at EU level.
"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 (£21bn).
"It is estimated that up to ?250m (£212m) 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."