To coincide with EU Anti-Trafficking Day, the Private Security Authority (PSA) is today launching new human trafficking awareness training for the security industry. The training, which has been developed for the PSA by Mecpaths, will become mandatory for all those seeking a PSA licence to work in the Door Supervisor, Event Security and Security Guarding sectors.
Minister of Justice, Helen McEntee TD, welcomed the launch of this new initiative which she said would help to save and to change countless lives. She spoke about the particular role that those working in security played in keeping people safe and her hope that this new training would help security staff spot the signs of trafficking.
This is the first time the PSA has developed training outside of the core skills required by those operating in the security industry. Speaking at the launch of the training module, the Chief Executive of the PSA, Mr. Paul Scallan, said,
“I am delighted to announce this new initiative by the PSA to raise awareness among the security industry of the important issue of human trafficking. The training programme we have developed with our partner, Mecpaths, focuses on the hideous crime of child trafficking. The security industry is uniquely placed to play an important role in the fight against these horrible crimes. The nature of their work means that security personnel have access to public and restricted areas across the country, particularly at access points such as ports and airports. They are trained to identify people acting out of the ordinary or things that look out of the normal. These skills, which have been successfully used to combat criminality in other spheres, will now be used to assist in the battle against human trafficking.”
Speaking on behalf of Mecpaths, Training Manager Ann Mara said:
“We are extremely pleased to partner with The Private Security Authority on this important initiative. With the upcoming changes to the Anti-Human Trafficking legislation at the end of 2023, the preparations and resource investments made by the PSA have reflected great leadership and foresight. We commend the PSA for being the first Statutory Body to introduce mandated Anti-Child Trafficking training for all Security Personnel licensed in Ireland. By virtue of this commitment, they have demonstrated a unique pledge to safeguarding children they may encounter through the course of their work, from potential harm and exploitation.”
The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) also welcomed the launch of the training programme. Dr Nusha Yonkova, Head of Anti-Human Trafficking at the IHREC said:
“Prevention of human trafficking has to go hand in hand with prosecution and victim protection. We welcome the initiative of the Private Security Authority of Ireland as an important prevention measure in the national fight against human trafficking. We expect that this mandatory training will deliver an important and far-reaching awareness dimension, in assisting workers in the private security sector to identify this clandestine crime, and possibly save human lives.”