‘Trafficked teen’opposes plan to place her in non-secure care facility

Girl is believed to be from Eastern Europe and was found abandoned outside GPO in Dublin

A teenage girl found abandoned in Dublin city centre who is believed to be a victim of human trafficking has brought a High Court challenge to a HSE proposal to place her in a non-secure care facility.

A teenage girl found abandoned in Dublin city centre who is believed to be a victim of human trafficking has brought a High Court challenge to a HSE proposal to place her in a non-secure care facility.

Wed, Oct 30, 2013, 18:24

A teenage girl found abandoned in Dublin city centre who is believed to be a victim of human trafficking has brought a High Court challenge to a HSE proposal to place her in a non-secure care facility.

The court-appointed guardian of the girl has initiated judicial review proceedings on her behalf, arguing the girl needs to be placed in a secure facility.

The girl, believed to be aged around 14 and from Eastern Europe, was found abandoned outside the GPO on O’Connell Street by members of An Garda Síochána earlier this month. She was carrying no identification and was unable to speak to officers when discovered.

Gardaí contacted the HSE which applied for her to be taken into care and she is currently receiving treatment at a Dublin hospital.

Today, Felix McEnroy SC, for the girl, said she had been found in “very distressed circumstances” by the Garda.

While she remained in hospital since being found, that was about to come to an end and the HSE was proposing to move her to a non-secure facility in a rural area. It was the guardian’s case this plan was not acceptable.

The girl, given her needs, must be placed at a secure facility. European law governing child trafficking, one of the most regulated areas of European Law, requires the girl be provided with a secure placement, counsel added.

In judicial review proceedings against the Health Services Executive, Ireland and the Attorney General, the girl, suing through her “next friend” - her guardian at litem, is seeking orders including one quashing the decision to provide her with a non-secure placement.

Permission to bring the proceedings was granted on an ex parte basis by Mr Justice George Birmingham. The matter will come before the minors list of the High Court tomorrow.