Justice Minister, David Ford, has today launched a consultation on further proposals designed to strengthen the response to human trafficking and slavery in Northern Ireland.
Minister Ford said: “Human trafficking and slavery are appalling, degrading crimes which devastate the lives of victims and their families. My Department has continued to review legislative opportunities and this document sets out some additional steps on which I would welcome views.”
He continued: “I want to strengthen the tools with which our law enforcement bodies can use to tackle these wrongs and which give more options to the courts, and introduce statutory oversight through a United Kingdom-wide Commissioner . This consultation seeks views on proposals, which I believe will send out a clear message to those who would consider trafficking or enslaving other human beings. The message is that their behaviour is not acceptable here and if they commit crimes then should expect appropriate punishment.
“I would encourage all those with an interest in tackling these heinous crimes to respond to the consultation”.
The consultation will run from 21 January until 15 April. Details and instructions on how to respond can be found at http://www.dojni.gov.uk/human-trafficking-and-slavery-strengthening-northern-irelands-response