NI: Amnesty welcomes government decision to sign European Convention Against Trafficking

Reacting to the Prime Minister's announcement that the UK Government is to sign up to the European Convention Against Trafficking, Amnesty International's Northern Ireland Programme Director Patrick Corrigan said:

“Amnesty International welcomes the decision of the Government to sign up to the European Convention Against Trafficking.

“Human trafficking is a nasty and well organised crime which, we believe, is causing untold human misery right here in Northern Ireland. It has previously been reported that dozens of Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights may have been trafficked here for the sex trade.

“The Government signing up to the European Convention will help ensure that such victims of this trade in people receive protection when they escape or are rescued here.

“It should end the problems which victims have faced in the past, when they were not recognised as victims of crime and faced possible detention and deportation.

“Trafficking victims who receive protection may also be much better able to help the police with further enquiries and prosecutions.

Background

There are no figures for trafficking in Northern Ireland, but it is highly unlikely that this is the only part of the UK or Ireland without a problem. Some initial research carried out for NI Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights’s Aid suggests up to fifty Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights may have been trafficked here for the sex trade.

Home Office research due to be published this year suggests that at any one time during 2003 there were in the region of 4,000 victims of trafficking for forced prostitution in the UK (1). Trafficked Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and girls, from countries including Moldova, Romania, Albania, Thailand and Nigeria have been forced to work as prostitutes in London. Victims of trafficking are tricked or violently coerced into leaving their homes.

The European Convention Against Trafficking guarantees trafficked people:

  • a breathing period (‘reflection period’) of at least 30 days during which they can receive support to aid their recovery, including safe housing and emergency medical support;
  • temporary residence permits for trafficked people who may be in danger if they return to their country, and/or if it is necessary to assist criminal proceedings.

Find out more about trafficking in the UK

Notes:

1. From a written answer by Home Office minister Vernon Coaker to a Parliamentary Question from Mohammed Sarwar MP, December 2006

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