Alliance: Human Trafficking Is Closer Than You Think

An Alliance MLA has warned people to be aware of the existence of human trafficking and modern slavery in Northern Ireland.

It comes as the eyes of the world focus on Essex following the discovery of 39 dead bodies in a refrigerated lorry. Investigations are ongoing to identify the deceased, with Vietnamese families fearing their loved ones are among the 31 men and eight women.

Local police are using the INTERPOL Disaster Victim Identification Standards to identify the bodies.

Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson highlighted the wave of criminality as modern slavery cases grow in Northern Ireland.

"Human trafficking can take many forms with some people agreeing to be trafficked in search of a better life in another country while others end up as modern day slaves," the east Antrim MLA commented.

"It is important that in Northern Ireland we recognise that we do have a problem with human trafficking and modern slavery. Since April 2019 the PSNI has investigated 54 cases of modern slavery compared to 33 last year. Offences range from labour exploitation to sexual exploitation; forced criminality and domestic servitude.

"Human trafficking and slavery-like practices are an abuse of basic human rights and we all have a responsibility to be vigilant and report any suspicions to the police."


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