APGHT welcomes the recovery of victims of Human Trafficking following brothel raids
Call for Public Prosecution Service to release guidance to ensure more prosecutions
Anna Lo MLA, Chair of All Party Group on Human Trafficking at the Northern Ireland Assembly, has welcomed the recovery of victims of human trafficking following a cross border operation between PSNI and Gardaí and has stated cross-border co-operation is absolutely critical to ending this modern day slavery.
Ms Lo stated ‘’This is an issue of organised crime that knows no borders. Northern Ireland is in a weak geographical position with our permeable border and, owing to the high demand here for sexual exploitation, this region is now as much a destination as simply a transit point.’’
Grainne Teggart of Amnesty International and an adviser to All Party Group, has said the Public Prosecution Service need to issue their guidance for prosecutors on human trafficking:
‘’Lack of prosecutions for human trafficking offences remains a real issue of concern. We need the Public Prosecution Service to issue robust guidance for prosecutors as a matter of urgency to ensure that, when these police operations take place, we can be assured that traffickers will face the full rigours of the law. The PPS will present to the All Party Group on Human Trafficking at our June meeting and the shockingly low number of successful prosecutions will be top of our agenda’’
Anna Lo MLA added ‘’The All Party Group will proactively address gaps in our systems here to bring about the change that is needed to send a very clear message that NI is a hostile place for traffickers’’