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Group to focus on tackling scourge of human trafficking

15 May, 2012 - by Jennifer McCann

Sinn Féin MLA Jennifer McCann said the increase in human trafficking in the North and throughout the whole island was an extremely worrying development.

The West Belfast MLA was speaking prior to chairing an all-party group at the Assembly today which has been set up help tackle the problem through awareness-raising and building co-operation with elected representatives throughout Ireland and in Britain.

A member of the Justice committee at the Assembly, Jennifer McCann said:

“The increase in the level of human trafficking in the North of Ireland and the Island as a whole is a worrying development. It's an international problem which brings in a profit of 31 billion per year for the criminal gangs involved in.

“There have been a total of 75 women rescued in the North over the past three years, and all have been brought here for sexual exploitation.

“More needs to be done in terms of raising the awareness of the problem, ensuring that the proper legislation is in place to deal with those who are involved in the trafficking trade including those who use the ‘services’ of people who are trafficked, because without a demand there would be no supply.

“The aftercare services for those who are rescued also needs to be fully resourced and co-ordinated better.”

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