On Monday (20th October), Lord Morrow’s Human Trafficking and Exploitation Bill will come to a crucial stage in its passage through the Northern Ireland Assembly. MLAs will debate, and vote on the Bill clause by clause and MLAs will be able to propose amendments to the PMB.
Ahead of the big debate, I recently caught up with Gemma Wilson from No More Traffik to find out more about human trafficking in Northern Ireland, as well as what we can do at an individual level to prevent human trafficking.
No More Traffik is a Northern Irish charity which focuses on the prevention of human trafficking, and believe that in order to see an end to human trafficking in the long term, we need to create systemic change in our society.
Gemma told me, “we know that last year about 40 victims were recovered from sexual exploitation and from labour exploitation, and that the UK-wide strategic baseline assessment suggests that maybe another 40 would’ve been recovered and not gone through the NRM (National Referral Mechanism), and then we just don’t know how big the iceberg that we’re dealing with is”.
Part of No More Traffik’s job is to raise awareness so that people know what the signs of human trafficking are and hence, know what to report.
Gemma told me that some indications that human trafficking may be taking place are “a very busy property at nighttime; a property in which people don’t have their documentation; someone you speak to who seems to be very controlled or doesn’t have access to their own money, or whose story changes every time you speak to them, that might be a sign that they are under threat.”
To try to reduce human trafficking on a global nature, No More Traffik advise that you “use your eyes” to spot the signs of trafficking and be aware. The second tactic is “to use your voice, if everyone in the world knew about trafficking and knew what to look out for and how to report it, it would really decrease and we really believe that.” The final tactic is to use “the power of the purse, which just means to create demand for ethical produce, so whether its chocolate, bananas or coffee, its to tell retailers that we don’t want to buy things that have been produced by slaves”.
If you would like to listen to the extended version of this interview you can catch it here – https://audioboom.com/boos/2575834-interview-no-more-traffik