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Northern Ireland: Political parties unite to combat Human Trafficking

Launch of All Party Group on Human Trafficking

Today Assembly efforts to tackle Human Trafficking in Northern Ireland have stepped up a gear with the launch of the All Party Group on Human Trafficking. 

The group has been established to promote effective action against trafficking for sexual and labour exploitation, an increasing problem across in Northern Ireland.

Adults and Children's rights are known to be trafficked into Northern Ireland for sexual exploitation, for various forms of labour exploitation and for criminal activity including illegal drug production, fraud and theft.

The new Assembly Group aims to tackle the problem through awareness-raising, building co-operation with parliamentary counterparts in England, Scotland, Wales and Republic of Ireland and by monitoring and advocating changes in law, policy and practice.

Anna Lo MLA, Chair of the All Party Group, said: ‘’Today is a great step forward in our fight against human trafficking. Assembly members from all parties are committed to making Northern Ireland a hostile place for Traffickers.  We will proactively address gaps in our systems here to bring about the change that is needed to end this modern day slavery’’

Grainne Teggart of Amnesty International, an Adviser to the Assembly Group, said:

‘’Human trafficking and the exploitation which follows are egregious violations of human rights. The problem has been growing in scale in Northern Ireland in recent years and the new All Party Group shows that it will now get the political attention it deserves. The All Party group will be considering possible changes to the law here and how to better coordinate efforts across government and between statutory and non-statutory agencies.”

The APGHT is launched Tuesday 15th May, 4pm, Brasserie in Parliament Buildings. Speakers include, Baroness Butler-Sloss, Co-Chair of APPG on Human Trafficking at Westminster, Justice Minister David Ford, Anna Lo MLA and Grainne Teggart, Amnesty International and Co-Adviser to APGHT.

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