CARE “overjoyed” as “landmark” modern slavery support package finalised at StormontHuman Trafficking
Press Release | CARE for Northern Ireland
Anti-trafficking campaigners say they are “overjoyed” that NI justice legislation guaranteeing “landmark” support for victims of human trafficking and modern slavery is set to be rubber stamped at Stormont.
This afternoon, the Justice (Sexual Offences and Trafficking Victims) Bill reaches its final stage and is expected to be agreed by MLAs. When it becomes law, it will provide up to 12 months of support to confirmed victims based on need.
The legislation will also ensure a safety net of further support beyond 12 months where it is considered necessary. Northern Ireland will be the first jurisdiction in the UK to make statutory provision for this type of support.
Speaking ahead of a debate and vote this afternoon, Rebecca Stevenson, Northern Ireland Policy Officer at charity CARE for NI, which agitates for greater victim support, commented:
“We are overjoyed that the Justice Bill is being finalised today. It comes after many months of campaigning by CARE for NI and other groups who wanted to see enhanced support provisions for individuals who have been exploited and abused as victims of modern slavery in our society.
“Thanks to an amendment CARE for NI championed, confirmed victims will be eligible for up to 12 months support, or more if required. This support will include access to housing, healthcare provisions, financial aid as appropriate and legal advice.
“Yet again, Northern Ireland is leading the way in helping victims of trafficking and modern slavery. This legislation brings landmark protections into statute, ensuring that modern slavery victims will be given the support they need to become survivors.
"We hope this will inspire similar action at Westminster to improve support and protections for victims.”
Noted for Editors
CARE for NI is a Christian charity providing resources and helping to bring Christian insight and experience to matters of public policy and practical caring initiatives.
For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Jamie Gillies: firstname.lastname@example.org