Ireland: legislation to deter recruitment of minors into gangs

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, visiting Belfast, Northern Ireland, January 12, 2023 (photo illustration).

AP - Brian Lawless

Text by: RFI Follow

1 min

In Ireland, a new law aims to deter gangs from recruiting minors into their criminal networks.

For the first time, a specific offense will be created to punish an adult who coerces, induces or invites a child to participate in an illegal activity.


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With our correspondent in Dublin,

Laura Taouchanov

This new law is called "Fagin's Law", in reference to the character in the book

Oliver Twist

by Charles Dickens.

Fagin leads a gang of young thieves.

The law aims to deter gangs from exploiting children, who are often manipulated into believing that crime can bring them wealth and a good standard of living.

In the event that adults coerce, incite or invite a minor to participate in an illegal activity, the justice system will now consider that they committed the crime or misdemeanor themselves.

For example, if an adult encourages a young person to rob a house, he will not be judged for complicity, but as if he had robbed the dwelling.

The penalty will be up to five years in prison.

This measure aims to recognize the harm done to a vulnerable child pushed down the wrong path, sometimes as young as 12 in Ireland.

According to the police, around 1,000 minors are at risk of being recruited in sensitive neighborhoods across the country.

►To re-read: Ireland: Leo Varadkar becomes Prime Minister again


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