Justice Minister Naomi Long has launched a public consultation to develop further measures to tackle modern slavery and human trafficking.
The public consultation will consider the following areas:
• the introduction of Slavery and Trafficking Risk Orders;
• the commencement and nature of the Duty to Notify provisions; and
• new powers to search an individual during a property search under existing modern slavery and human trafficking legislation
Naomi Long said: “Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking can affect anyone, of any age, gender or nationality. Criminals and organised crime groups seek to exploit and abuse vulnerable people for their own gains and it is vital that law enforcement and other partners have the means to address and eradicate this callous form of criminality.
“Whilst a lot of work has been undertaken since the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Criminal Justice and Support for Victims) Act (Northern Ireland) 2015 was introduced, we must continue to ensure that appropriate measures are in place to deal with perpetrators and provide support and assistance to the victims of these heinous crimes.
“We are putting forward proposals for consultation which will help to strengthen the criminal justice response and I would encourage all those with an interest in tackling this terrible abuse to engage in the process.”
“We look forward to your views, which will help inform consideration of the proposed measures in the new mandate.
“We must do all we can to prevent these crimes from happening, to protect victims and bring to justice those taking advantage of vulnerable people in our society through trafficking and exploitation.”
Notes to editors:
1. You can access the consultation at https://www.justice-ni.gov.uk/consultations/consultation-measures-strengthen-response-modern-slavery-and-human-trafficking
2. Hard copies of this document and copies in other formats, including Braille, large print etc., are available upon request. If you require an alternative format or in a language other than English, please let us know and we will do our best to assist you. If you require any further information on this consultation or the content of this document, or any other assistance to make a response, please contact the Department.
We can be contacted using the details provided below:
By Email: MSHTEnquiries@justice-ni.gov.uk
In writing: Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Branch
Protection and Organised Crime Division
Department of Justice
3. The consultation will launch on 11th March 2022 and last for 12 weeks.
4. The NI Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Strategy for 2021/22 committed to engage with key stakeholders to consider the potential benefits and implications of introducing Slavery and Trafficking Risk Orders in NI based on evidence and experience from other jurisdictions.
5. Media enquiries should be directed to the Department of Justice Press Office via email at email@example.com
6. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours’ service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted out of hours on 028 9037 8110.
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