Call for more, tailored support for trafficking victims as figures show rise in referralsHuman Trafficking
More, tailored support is needed for confirmed victims of human trafficking in NI, campaigners say, following the release of new figures.
The stats, reported on today, show that the number of potential victims of human trafficking in Northern Ireland referred to the Home Office has increased sharply in the last eight years.
Suspected trafficking victims entering the government's National Referral Mechanism rose from 15 in 2012 to 128 last year - a rise of just over 750 per cent.
Responding to the news, Lauren Agnew, Human Trafficking Officer for CARE for NI, which worked closely with MLAs on measures to curb human trafficking and modern slavery, said MLAs must step up efforts to identify victims and ensure they receive ongoing support:
“These alarming new figures help to illustrate the problem of human trafficking and modern slavery in Northern Ireland. However, the true scale of the problem is still not properly quantified. These crimes largely go unseen and undetected. We must continue to invest in awareness-raising and training of key stakeholders to ensure that more victims are identified in the years ahead.
“Another key focus must be on how victims can receive the support they need to begin to rebuild their lives following their escape from modern slavery, and to place them on a stable pathway to recovery. This must include support for confirmed victims of modern slavery and human trafficking after they exit the referral process. We call on MLAs to ensure that victims receive greater assistance and support in accessing safe accommodation, welfare benefits, healthcare, counselling, and work.”
Notes for Editors:
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CARE is a well-established mainstream Christian charity providing resources and helping to bring Christian insight and experience to matters of public policy and practical caring initiatives.