Modern slavery and human trafficking strategy 2024-27 launched

Date published: 10 July 2024

Justice Minister Naomi Long has launched a new three-year strategy to tackle modern slavery and trafficking in Northern Ireland.

Justice Minister Naomi Long pictured

The strategy will enable the Department of Justice to take a more sustained approach to identifying and eradicating modern slavery and human trafficking here.

It will build on the commitments and achievements of previous strategies and is informed by engagement with both non-governmental and statutory partner organisations.

The Minister said: “Modern slavery and human trafficking are an affront to our values as a society.  They are brutal and appalling crimes which undermine the fundamental principles of human rights and dignity.

“Victims are among some of the most vulnerable and traumatised in the criminal justice system. They may not be recognised as victims, and they may not recognise themselves as victims.

 “The issue requires a societal wide effort if we are to raise awareness and successfully tackle this heinous crime and collaborative working is a key element of the strategy. The Department will engage regularly with stakeholders to ensure objectives are achieved.” 

The strategy groups actions and commitments under the strands of:

  • Pursue - enhance operational responses to pursue and disrupt offenders;
  • Protect - providing victims with necessary levels of protection and support and
  • Prevent - engagement, awareness raising and training.

The full strategy can be found on the publication section of this website. 

If you suspect someone is a victim of modern slavery and human trafficking ring 999 in case of an emergency, 101 to report a general situation or 0800 0121 700 for the Modern Slavery Helpline.

Further information about human slavery can be found on the NIDirect website

Notes to editors: 

1.  The consultation on the draft strategy ran from 18 October 2022 to 10 January 2023. A summary of consultation responses has been included in the published strategy as an annex.

2.  The strategy has been developed under section 12 of the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Criminal Justice and Support for Victims) Act (Northern Ireland) 2015.

3.  Some of the signs of modern slavery are -

  • Someone who is distrustful of authorities.
  • Someone who appears to be under the control of others.
  • An over-crowded house or flat.
  • Someone who is unsure of their address or the local area.
  • Someone who may not have cash because they can’t keep the money they earn.
  • Someone who can’t produce their passport or personal documents.

5. For all media enquiries, please contact the Press Office via EMAIL

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 on 028 9037 8110.

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