Stewart Dickson MLA said: “Human trafficking is a horrendous crime which can only be tackled through close co-operation of different organisations both at a local and regional level.
“I would like to commend the Justice Minister on the work he is doing to combat this problem through the Organised Crime Task Force and its immigration and human trafficking subgroup, the non governmental organisation/stakeholder engagement group and as a member of the interdepartmental ministerial group on human trafficking.
“He has also published the first human trafficking action plan for Northern Ireland, as well as an education resource pack to help teachers explain this issue with their pupils. To help inform victims of their rights, the Department of Justice has produced an information leaflet in multiple languages.
“Human trafficking is largely a hidden crime that can be difficult to detect, which is why raising public awareness is vital. The Minister has placed a high importance on this with his support for campaigns such as ‘Blue Blindfold’.
“He has also sought to work closely with the Irish Justice Minister Alan Shatter TD, and to improve links between the PSNI and An Garda Síochána. Those behind human trafficking do not respect borders, so it is important that we have good north south relations on this issue.
“We must work together to eradicate this terrible crime.”