Justice Minister Claire Sugden has today published the 2016/17 Human Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy for Northern Ireland.
The strategy builds on the 2015/16 Human Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy which has 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 which the Department and its partners are committed to driving forward under four strategic priorities – Pursue, Protect and support, Prevent and Partnership.
Praising partnership efforts across government, law enforcement and, particularly civil society and reiterating the importance of collaborative working to raise awareness to identify and rescue victims, Minister Sugden said:
“Partnership is central to eradicating modern slavery. We all have a role to play and I value the contribution made by civil society organisations as well as by law enforcement by rescuing victims; pursuing perpetrators; providing vital support and advocacy services; equipping at-risk communities to protect themselves; raising public awareness of signs and indicators of modern slavery; and influencing and informing the development of effective policies and strategies.
“This strategy sets out the collective priorities for the year ahead, with the continuing aim of eradicating modern slavery and trafficking from Northern Ireland and identifying and supporting victims”.