Report: North Atlantic Maritime Project

Last month a conference was held in Limerick, Ireland, that looked into exploitation and irregularities within the North Atlantic Maritime Industry with the aim of identifying and protecting victims of human trafficking.

Hosted by An Garda Síochána, the Irish National Police Force, the Santa Marta Group conference was held at Mary Immaculate College in Limerick from 10 – 11 May 2016.


It was attended by delegates from over 40 organisations working to prevent human trafficking and forced labour in the maritime and fishing industries.

Professor Michael A. Hayes, President of Mary Immaculate College, welcomed delegates to the University of Limerick and spoke of the value of the Santa Marta Group conferences having attended his first in London in December 2014.

“The great value of such meetings, and of our meeting today, is that they allow all involved in anti-trafficking to share experiences and best practice, to discern the pastoral care victims need, and to raise awareness about the nature and scale of modern slavery. They facilitate the development of relationships among law enforcement agencies, the Church and NGOs. This networking is very important because it opens up channels that otherwise might not be available to us.”

Download Address

Prof. Michael A. Hayes – President, Mary Immaculate College

One of the most powerful accounts came from Mia de Faoite – a respected civil servant with a good job who made some bad decisions and fell into drug addiction and prostitution. For the last 18 months of the six years she spent on the streets, Mia stood alongside a trafficked woman called Jenny.

She gave an account of the cruel and disturbing world of prostitution and human trafficking. A world where society as a whole – not just the politicians, charities, law enforcers and law makers – must educate, protect and enshrine the values that make the world a place that allows all humans to thrive.

Download Testimony

Use this link to read Mia and Jenny’s full story.


The North Atlantic Maritime Project is an inclusive partnership between representatives of the police, clergy, state and civil society from Ireland and Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, Scotland, Spain and Portugal.

You can read through a short presentation of next steps and actions presented by the North Atlantic Maritime Project at the Limerick conference.