Stewart Dickson MLA said: “Alliance are committed to tackling human trafficking wherever it may occur. My Alliance colleagues have continued to raise this issue in the Assembly and Westminster. Anna Lo established the Assembly Group on human trafficking, Naomi Long has campaigned on this issue at Westminster, while David Ford has introduced legislation and awareness campaigns.
“I know David Ford has worked closely with Lord Morrow on improvements to the Human Trafficking Bill. This is evidenced by the large number of amendments that they tabled during Monday’s debate and at a previous stage of the Bill, something which is uncommon for a Minister and a backbench MLA to do. I am fully supportive of the changes that they have agreed upon and will be voting in favour of the Bill as a whole.
“We do however continue to have concerns over the unintended consequences of certain aspects of the legislation. While the Assembly agreed to criminalise the purchase of sexual services, we still believe that efforts to reduce prostitution should have been dealt with in separate, more effective legislation.
“The DUP amendment tabled to this debate is so general that it may inadvertently ban something as innocuous as a kiss-o-gram. It seems the DUP are intent on taking us back to Victorian times when even the piano legs were covered up.”