Drug lords are trafficking immigrant workers into slavery and forcing them to work on cannabis cultivation in Ireland, according to a damning new report.

The country’s Migrant Rights Centre has reported that Ireland is part of a major European project in trafficking for forced labor.

The MRC told Irish state broadcaster RTE that there is evidence that vulnerable people may have been trafficked into Ireland and forced to work in cannabis growhouses.

They say people have been found ‘malnourished and terrified in houses locked from the outside.’ These ‘slaves’ are then treated as criminals and given heavy prison sentences by the authorities.

Spokesperson Grainne O’Toole told RTE that the victims of forced labor need to be taken into protective care.

She said, “There are potentially victims of trafficking sitting in prison whose cases need to be assessed.

“The reason the slavery exists is it's profit driven. So what’s happening here is we know that cannabis production is a very profitable and lucrative business for criminal gangs.

“But it’s making it more lucrative for them if they can basically put slaves into cannabis growhouses to do their dirty work for them, then these people are serving the time, so it’s risk free for them.”