Victims of sex trafficking are being failed in Ireland, according to a report.
A US State Department report reveals Ireland has been downgraded to a tier 2 country - meaning it's no longer deemed to be meeting the minimum standards required.
The 'Trafficking in Persons' review outlines ongoing shortcomings in the treatment of victims here, and chronic deficiencies in identification.
The report extended its criticism to Ireland's accommodation of victims of sex trafficking, who often spend extended periods of time in direct provision centres without access to appropriate supports.
It urges authorities here to "vigorously investigate, prosecute, and convict suspected offenders of both sex and labor trafficking".
The Immigrant Council of Ireland says it's grave news to hear that Ireland is failing to meet even the minimum standards required.
It says it's long been concerned that asylum-seekers here can't be identified as victims of trafficking - meaning many are not able to access the supports they're entitled to.
Nusha Yonkova, Anti-Trafficking and Gender Expert at the council, said: "The Immigrant Council of Ireland is concerned to see yet again the majority of victims of trafficking are being trafficked for sexual exploitation, especially recognising these official figures are just the tip of the iceberg."