31/07/2014

Justice Minister Announces Modern Slavery Awareness Campaign

David Ford has announced that the Department of Justice supports a new UK-wide campaign on modern slavery.

The campaign is aimed at raising public awareness of modern slavery with the use of television adverts and an associated website.

A dedicated helpline has also been launched which will be run by the NSPCC.

The television advertisement depicts the types of slavery - forced labour, sexual exploitation and domestic servitude – which take place in the United Kingdom.

The Justice Minister said: "I welcome the launch of this awareness raising campaign concerning modern slavery. It is essential that we dispel the myth that slavery is not taking place in the United Kingdom.

"The reality is that these despicable crimes are taking place in both urban and rural areas across the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland. While law enforcement agencies are working hard to rescue the victims the public can help enormously by reporting suspicions. There are then support mechanisms in place to assist potential victims."

The new Modern Slavery website includes a range of materials, including video content, to explain the issue in more detail. The helpline (0800 0121 700) provides potential victims, members of the public and professionals with a single telephone number to call if they have concerns related to modern slavery.

Assistant Chief Constable Drew Harris said: "The Police Service of Northern Ireland will play its full part in working with a range of groups and agencies in the drive to tackle modern slavery. This abhorrent crime results in some of the most vulnerable in our global society being exploited in the most horrific circumstances. PSNI welcomes this campaign which highlights the devastating impact on those whose lives are touched by modern slavery. We would urge everyone in our community to be aware of the signs of this crime and to report any suspicions or concerns through the helpline or by contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

(MH/CD)

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