14/01/2014

Human Trafficking Awareness Raised

16 potential victims of human trafficking were recovered between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2013 in Northern Ireland.

The news comes as Junior Ministers Jonathan Bell and Jennifer McCann today addressed a Policing and Community Safety Partnership event in Belfast City Hall to raise awareness about human trafficking.

"The hard truth is that human trafficking is not someone else’s problem," Junior Minister Jonathan Bell said.

"It is not something that solely happens in other countries. It is a real, and deeply concerning, social evil here on our doorstep – a trade that preys on the vulnerable and which relies for its success on coercion and stealth."

Human trafficking is the illegal movement of a person into or through a country.

Victims are often brought into a country through the promise of a new life and a decent wage, but are forced to work long hours for less than the minimum wage, often in unsafe conditions.

Junior Minister Jennifer McCann said: "The transport and exploitation of vulnerable men, women and children by predatory criminals is something we will not tolerate. Human trafficking isn’t a problem that happens far away and too often we hear accounts of people who have been subjected to this most despicable of industries."

The independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111 to report any incidents of human trafficking in Northern Ireland.

(IT)

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