Ballymoney Borough Council has given their support a Bill to strengthen Northern Ireland’s response to human trafficking.
During last Monday’s Council meeting, Ald Bill Kennedy raised the issue and proposed that Council invite Rev Francis Bach, who has taken up the cause, to their December meeting.
He said: “In October 2013 I proposed a motion on the growing problem in Northern Ireland of Human Trafficking and supported a Bill to strengthen Northern Ireland’s response to human trafficking in awareness-raising, protecting and assisting victims and in prosecuting traffickers.
“The Council supported the notice of motion I put forward in support the Bill by the Assembly which will enable Northern Ireland to meet its international obligations under the EU Anti-Trafficking Directive and the Council of Europe Convention on Human Trafficking. My Chaplain, Rev. Francis Bach, following her retirement has taken up this cause and has been addressing various forums on the subject. I have invited her to attend the Council’s meeting in December to speak to us on the subject.”
The motion adopted by Council
Recognises that human trafficking and exploitation is a growing problem in Northern Ireland;
Believes that existing statistics regarding the number of people trafficked into Northern Ireland do not reflect the scale of the problem and are only the “tip of the iceberg” in regard to the scale of the problem;
Believes that no human being should be subjected to: sexual exploitation, enforced labour or domestic servitude and condemns those who engage in human trafficking;
Believes that more action should be undertaken to support those who have escaped from exploitation and to punish those who exploit them and, accordingly;
Calls upon the Northern Ireland Assembly to endorse the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Further Provision and Support of Victims) Bill.