Wed, 21 Aug 2019

NI justice department cracks down on modern day slavery

Conor Trindle
19 Apr 2019, 13:31 GMT+10

<p>BELFAST, Northern Ireland - Although slavery has been outlawed throughout the world, it not only still exists but is flourishing.</p><p>It is widely accepted that there are more slaves in the world today than at any point in history. Sadly, some of the victims who are being abused, exploited and denied their human rights can be found in local cities, towns, villages and rural areas throughout the world.</p><p>Many countries and organisations continue the fight against modern day slavery and human trafficking.</p><p>Northern Ireland is one such country, which on Thursday published the Northern Ireland Modern Slavery Strategy 2019-2020.</p><p>This is the third&nbsp;<a href="https://www.justice-ni.gov.uk/publications/northern-ireland-modern-slavery-strategy-2019-2020">annual strategy</a> which underlines the country&#39;s Department of Justice&rsquo;s commitment to combat modern slavery and build on previous commitments.</p><p>The stragey puts forward three key themes:&nbsp; <em>Pursue, Protect </em>and <em>Prevent</em>.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Whilst the report covers the period April 2019 &ndash; March 2020, it also takes a longer-term view, acknowledging that modern slavery is a complex issue and that there is no quick fix.&nbsp;</p><p>Actions under the&nbsp;pursue&nbsp;strand seek to enhance the operational response to disrupt offenders and bring them to justice.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Supporting and&nbsp;protecting&nbsp;victims and potential victims remains central to the strategy.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>It also addresses the need to&nbsp;prevent&nbsp;people from getting drawn into slavery in the first place. This can be done by reducing the vulnerability of those who may be targeted by traffickers and enslavers; ensuring that the general public is equipped to spot the signs of exploitation and report any suspicions; and by seeking to tackle demand.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;We all have a role to play to ensure we have a safe community where there is no place for modern slavery and human trafficking abuses to take place. Tackling this despicable crime needs a whole societal approach,&quot; Anthony Harbinson, Director of Safer Communities in the Northern Ireland Department of Justice said Thursday.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;Partnership is central to combating modern slavery and therefore central to this strategy. Law enforcement and other partner organisations are making a difference but need the support and vigilance of the public in general.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;Working in tandem, we can improve the ways we pursue the criminals who are exploiting vulnerable people. We can develop how we protect and support victims; and target efforts to&nbsp;prevent others from falling prey to the criminals involved in this appalling crime,&quot; Harbinson said.</p><p>Further information on the&nbsp;Strategy is available on the Department of Justice <a href="https://www.justice-ni.gov.uk/publications/northern-ireland-modern-slavery-strategy-2019-2020">website</a>.</p>

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