Lo welcomes new services to combat human trafficking

South Belfast Alliance MLA Anna Lo has praised the work of local police in cracking down on human trafficking and has welcomes the launch of new services to tackle this problem in Northern Ireland. Anna Lo met with Security Minister Paul Goggins last year to discuss the issue and the Alliance youth wing has campaigned for extra support services for a long time. It has been announced today that counselling, accommodation and healthcare will be provided to victims of human trafficking here.

Anna Lo MLA said: “These new services will help protect those who have been victims of this sickening trade. The services will also assist police in seeking convictions against traffickers.

“The Alliance Party’s youth wing has campaigned for a long time to secure strong support services for victims of human trafficking.

“Human trafficking is a real problem here and I am glad that the authorities are getting tough on traffickers and assisting the victims to cope with their ordeal. This gross exploitation simply must be eradicated.

“People who are trapped in this living hell need all the help they can get. They then need to be protected and helped to get over the trauma of this experience. The authorities also need to ensure that evidence can be secured so that traffickers can be put behind bars to help stop this vile activity.”

Chair of Alliance Youth, Michael Bower, said: “Alliance Youth has been campaigning for almost two years now for human trafficking to be taken seriously by the NIO and PSNI and we are delighted about the progress that has been made in that time.

“Now that a real effort is being made to rescue these innocent victims from their slavery it is essential that accommodation, housing and health care be offered to these most vulnerable of people and I am very pleased that as of 1st April this will be the case.

“I do however call for wider European engagement on this issue. It is essential that Governments and police services across Europe come together to work on better strategies to stop trafficking coming in and out of Europe in the first place.”


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