05/03/2014

Ford Addresses Westminster On Human Trafficking

Justice Minister David Ford has addressed the Westminster Joint Select Committee on his proposals to strengthen human trafficking and slavery laws in Northern Ireland.

The Minister was invited to give evidence to the Committee on the draft Modern Slavery Bill, which was published by the Home Secretary in December last year.

"This was an opportunity for me to inform the Joint Select Committee of my consultation on proposals to strengthen the response to human trafficking and slavery in Northern Ireland, and how it links in with the Modern Slavery Bill," he said.

"It was also important to emphasise the need to respond to human trafficking in a way which is tailored to Northern Ireland’s needs and its distinct criminal justice system."

Mr Ford said there was a need to "recognise that human trafficking and slavery are global crimes.

"My consultation and that underway in England and Wales on Modern Salvery, are at one in seeking to bolster the sentencing framework, protect the public from offenders, provide oversight and help to increase our knowledge of these crimes," he added.

"These changes would build on the trafficking provisions in Lord Morrow’s Human Trafficking and Exploitation Bill and the considerable work that my department, alongside our partners in civil society, has undertaken. My aim is that any legislative changes for Northern Ireland will be incorporated into Lord Morrow’s Bill."

(IT)

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