Law Centre fringe meeting highlights problem of human trafficking
Speaking at the Law Centre Fringe Meeting on Human Trafficking at the Alliance Party Conference on Saturday 2 March, Law Centre (NI) director Les Allamby told delegates that, while significant progress has been made to co-ordinate efforts to tackle human trafficking in Northern Ireland, more needs to be done.
The fringe was opened by Justice Minister David Ford and chaired by Anna Lo MLA.
Highlighting the experiences of the victims of trafficking that the Law Centre has represented, Les Allamby stressed the importance of joined up approaches in ensuring victims have access to expert legal advice and support services.
Recognising that what is known about trafficking in Northern Ireland is only the 'tip of the iceberg', he called on the Executive to ensure effective systems are put in place to monitor trafficking activity and to stamp out this modern day slavery.
Diane Kelly, Immigrant Council of Ireland's anti-trafficking coordinator, told delegates about the campaign by civil society to Turn Off the Red Light by criminalising the purchasing of sex.
She highlighted the experience of women who have been trafficked into Ireland for sexual exploitation and explained that the Republic's Justice Minister is currently considering whether to amend Irish law. A ministerial announcement is expected soon.
The Immigrant Council's research, which captures the voices of women who have been trafficked into Ireland for sexual exploitation is available as a PDF: