Young people across Northern Ireland shine spotlight on human trafficking
Three Executive Ministers today met with groups of inspiring young people, who were hosting events to mark EU Anti-Trafficking Day.
~ Friday, 18 October 2013
EU Anti-Trafficking Day is an opportunity for us all to raise awareness and speak out against the dreadful crime of human trafficking.
Northern Ireland Department of Justice
Justice Minister David Ford and Minister for Employment and Learning Stephen Farry visited Southern Regional College where a Student Union Campaign on Human Trafficking was launched.
Speaking at the event at the Armagh Campus, David Ford said: “EU Anti-Trafficking Day is an opportunity for us all to raise awareness and speak out against the dreadful crime of human trafficking. I am impressed by the initiative and creativity shown by the young people involved today. By taking a stand against human trafficking, these young people are sending out a clear message to their peers, and to the wider community, that human trafficking is a horrendous crime that they are not willing to tolerate in their streets or towns.
“By involving Further and Higher Education Colleges and post primary schools in marking EU Anti-Trafficking Day, we are ensuring that our young people are able to spot the signs of human trafficking and report any suspicions to the police or Crimestoppers.”
Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry said: “Human trafficking is a clear and unacceptable abuse against the most vulnerable in our society, and I am encouraged by this collective approach being taken by the Executive to work towards raising the awareness of this issue through the further and higher education network. By increasing young people’s awareness of the signs of trafficking, and then reporting these to the relevant authorities, we can all play a part in trying to address this crime.”
The Department of Justice also invited post primary schools to organise their own event to mark EU Anti-Trafficking Day and shine the spotlight on human trafficking. Many held assemblies, workshops, dramas and other events to raise awareness of the issue.
Minister Ford accompanied Education Minister John O’Dowd on a visit to Dromore High School where students held workshops and presented campaigns to raise awareness of human trafficking.
Speaking during his visit to Dromore High School, John O’Dowd said: I am pleased that I could join Minister Ford today to show a united front against one of the most heinous crimes in our society. The more awareness we can raise, the more chance we have of stopping this terrible crime. Our young people need to be educated on this issue and I am pleased that our curriculum provides them with opportunities to do so and events such as this one at Dromore High School sets an example for other schools to learn from.”
Minister Ford also watched sixth form students from Regent House perform a drama about human trafficking and took the opportunity to speak to students about the role that they could play in helping to prevent human trafficking. Regent House also marked EU Anti-Trafficking Day by raising funds for an Anti-Trafficking Charity.
Notes to Editors
1. EU Anti-Trafficking Day is an annual event when EU countries are asked to raise awareness of human trafficking.
2. Further information on on human trafficking can be found at; http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/human-trafficking
3. For all media queries, please contact the DOJ Press Office on 028 9052 6444. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715440 and your call will be returned.