Ford publishes first annual human trafficking and exploitation strategy for Northern Ireland

Date published: 15 September 2015

Justice Minister, David Ford, has published the first annual Human Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy for Northern Ireland.

Minister of Ford at human trafficking event

Minister Ford said “Human trafficking and exploitation are vile crimes which dehumanise victims.  They have a destructive impact on society in general.  This strategy sets out how my Department intends to work with partners across Government, law enforcement and civil society to put an end to modern slavery and to support victims.  The strategy shows what can be achieved when we stand together against these evil practices. It sends a strong message to traffickers that Northern Ireland is closed for business.”

A draft version of the strategy, developed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) was subject to a 12-week public consultation and the final strategy has been amended to reflect a number of suggestions received by respondents to the consultation.

The strategy builds on previous Human Trafficking and Exploitation Action Plans which have helped to set a clear strategic direction for the Department of Justice and its partners.  It sets out a challenging programme of objectives and actions that the Department and its partners are committed to driving forward under four strategic priorities: Pursue; Protect and support; Prevent and; Partnership.

David Ford continued “I believe that this strategy will facilitate effective investigations and prosecutions and will help to ensure that victims are identified, protected and supported.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. View the Human Trafficking strategy at the publications section
  2. The consultation on the draft strategy ran from 29 May 2015 until 21 August 2015.
  3. The strategy will run until 31 March 2016.
  4. The Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Criminal Justice and Support for Victims) Act (Northern Ireland) 2015, which received Royal Assent on 13 January 2015, placed a requirement on the Department of Justice to produce an annual strategy on human trafficking and slavery-like offences.
  5. For all media queries, please contact the DOJ Press Office on 028 9052 6444.  Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715440 and your call will be returned.

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