Anna Lo stated: “I strongly welcome the announcement of this North-South joint effort to tackle human trafficking.
“Obviously, the wider the area we examine the more likely we are to be able to successfully address this horrific problem.
“We need to start by realizing and examining the full extent of this problem. The foremost priority of work to combat trafficking must be to protect those who have been sucked into this gruesome practice.
“Only last week, a man was sentenced for the murder of a young Chinese woman, Qu Mei Na, in North Belfast almost three years ago. This brutal murder underlines the extremely sinister nature of human trafficking.
“Last week, a conference a conference was held at Queen’s University examining this area and I am glad to see that there is active research ongoing into tackling this problem.”