Police action on human trafficking is welcome, but highlights ongoing human trafficking and modern slavery issues, says Nicholl

Alliance Party Migration Spokesperson Kate Nicholl MLA has been speaking out this week as six women were rescued following searches by the PSNI’s Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Unit in the Belfast area.

Kate Nicholl PSNI

Three people were also arrested following the searches which came about as a result of a year-long investigation involving the PSNI, An Garda Síochána and Romanian police into suspected human trafficking.
Welcoming the policing operation, Kate Nicholl MLA said: “The PSNI, An Garda Síochána and Romanian police are to be commended for their cooperation, diligence and professionalism in carrying out this operation. Rescuing six women and beginning the process of bringing the perpetrators of these horrific crimes to justice is a very welcome development, but also highlights the broader issue of human trafficking and modern slavery that continues to bring suffering and misery to so many around the world, including here in Northern Ireland.
“My office has been doing work in supporting victims of human trafficking in recent months and the reality of being a victim of this crime is incredibly difficult to comprehend. The trauma, pain and suffering that victims of these crimes experience is horrendous, and they must receive all of the support and care possible.
“Human trafficking and modern slavery are often hidden crimes, but there are signs that we can all look out for within our communities. We can all play our part in exposing these horrific crimes and supporting the victims.” 
If you suspect that someone has been trafficked or enslaved:

  • call 999 in an emergency 
  • call 101 about the general situation
  • call 0800 0121 700 for the Modern Slavery Helpline

You can find out more about human trafficking and modern slavery, as well as the signs to look out for, here on the NI Direct website: 
Modern slavery and human trafficking | nidirect