New Legislation puts Northern Ireland at the forefront of the fight against Human Trafficking - Ford

10 December 2014

On Tuesday, the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Criminal Justice and Support for Victims) Bill completed its Final Stage in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

David Ford said: “This is a ground-breaking Bill that reinforces our stance against the evil crimes of human trafficking and slavery and I am pleased that it has now passed Final Stage. I believe it will act as a deterrent for would-be traffickers. Where people are exploited, it will help us to ensure that the perpetrators are properly punished and, crucially, it will enhance the protection and support available to victims whose lives have been shattered by these abhorrent crimes.

“It is an excellent example of good work between Lord Morrow and the Department of Justice.”

The Bill, introduced to the Northern Ireland Assembly by Lord Morrow, is expected to receive Royal Assent in January 2015. The Justice Minister worked closely with Lord Morrow on the content of the Bill.

The previous day, the Northern Ireland Assembly agreed a Legislative Consent Motion to extend to Northern Ireland a number of provisions in the Westminster Modern Slavery Bill relating to enforcement powers in relation to ships, the Independent Anti-slavery Commissioner, and transparency in supply chains.

David Ford said: “These provisions complement the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Bill and will ensure that there is a comprehensive, coordinated response and consistent, joined-up oversight across the United Kingdom to reinforce and improve our collective response to modern slavery. 

“I agree with Lord Morrow that these two measures put Northern Ireland at the forefront of the fight against Human Trafficking and Slavery.”