A teenage girl believes to have been smuggled into Ireland to work as a sex slave is now under armed protection at an Irish hospital.

The girl, believed to be only 13 or 14, was found in a distressed state outside Dublin’s General Post Office earlier this month.

Police are still trying to identify the girl who has little or no English and has been communicating with them by drawing pictures, many of them disturbing according to reports.

Dublin’s High Court has refused police permission to release the girl’s photo to the press in an attempt to help identify her.

The Sunday Independent reports that officers were again told that this cannot happen until the girl is in permanently secure accommodation in the care of Ireland’s health authority.

The report says the girl was in a highly distressed and confused state when she was found wandering outside the GPO on O’Connell Street a fortnight ago.

She is unable to converse but speaks a few words that suggest she is of Eastern European origin

The paper also reports that ‘in a highly disturbing case of suspected human trafficking, it has emerged that the girl was drugged when she was found’.

Her inability to converse and her demeanour have led officers to believe she may have been held in captivity. They fear she is possibly a victim of trafficking.

The images she has drawn for the police, one of which depicts a large male figure lying on top of a smaller female figure, have led officers to suspect she was the victim of abuse.

The Sunday Independent reports that another drawing depicts a woman and child, with a cross drawn over the woman, suggesting to police that her mother may be dead.

The paper adds that 13- or 14-year-old girl is in constant fear of men and cowers when they come near her.

She is attended around the clock by female officers with an armed officer outside the hospital room at all times.

Attempts to contact dentists who may have carried out orthodontic work on the girl have so far proved fruitless.

Her picture has been forwarded to the international police agency Interpol which has circulated her image and details to international police forces.

No international force has been able to identify the girl and police in Dublin are anxious to release her photo to the world press.