Push to tackle modern slavery

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Monday, October 30th, 2017

Modern slavery is happening in Northern Ireland and the Department of Justice (DoJ) is calling on everyone across society to be aware of the possible signs that someone may need help and to report suspicions quickly and confidentially.



To help raise awareness about the criminal activity of modern slavery, the Department has launched an awareness campaign in partnership with local councils, the emergency services, public and private organisations and a wide range of civil sector organisations.

Speaking at the launch, Department of Justice Permanent Secretary, Nick Perry said, “Modern slavery is cruel and vile. We are asking everyone to be aware of the signs and report suspicions to the authorities. One quick and confidential call could end the suffering of individuals and deliver the help and support they need.”

Supporting the event and launching his annual report on anti-slavery, UK Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Kevin Hyland OBE said, “No part of the UK is immune to the evil crime of modern slavery. Thousands of people are trapped in abusive, violent, exploitative conditions and this campaign brings us one step closer to putting a stop to it.



“My annual report details the impressive anti-slavery work across the UK, including efforts in Northern Ireland, and I look forward to seeing how this campaign will further add to the fight against modern slavery.”

Since the establishment of the PSNI’s Modern Slavery Human Trafficking Unit (MSHTU) in 2015, PSNI have recovered over 100 victims from situations of modern day slavery or exploitation.

Chief Constable, George Hamilton said, “These are horrendous crimes against some of the most vulnerable people in our society and we must all work together to ensure that we do everything possible to eradicate these appalling acts of criminality and inhumanity.



“We are committed and absolutely determined to bring those responsible for human trafficking, sexual exploitation and forced labour to justice.”

Nationally, Home Secretary, Amber Rudd recently approved the UK Annual Report on Modern Slavery and separately the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner Annual Report has been laid in Parliament.

The awareness campaign is being rolled out over all council areas and posters and leaflets offering advice on how to identify suspicious activity will be on display. A wide range of organisations have agreed to display and distribute the material in public spaces and to their staff including local councils, Health and Social Care Trusts, the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, Northern Ireland Hotel Federation, Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service and Northern Ireland Housing Executive, church and faith groups and a wide range of civil sector organisations.



Information is available on www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/human-trafficking

To report suspicions confidentially to the police call 999 or 101 or directly to the Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 0121 700.

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