Partnership key in trafficking fight
Tuesday, 22 October 2013
NORTH south partnership is key in the fight against human trafficking.
That was the message from Justice Minister David Ford and his southern counterpart Alan Shatter as they marked EU Anti-Trafficking Day by attending a cross border forum on human trafficking.
The meeting, which was held in Dromantine Retreat and Conference Centre, was also attended by representatives from state, law enforcement, non-governmental and international organisations from across Ireland.
Mr Ford said it was essential to stamp out human trafficking, which he described as "the vilest of crimes."
“Those who perpetrate the heinous crime of trafficking human beings are not confined by borders," he said.
“Therefore it is also hugely important that we continue to work closely and forge strong links with our partners in the Republic of Ireland. There are already close working relationships between PSNI and An Garda Síochána, and it is important that we build on these links and extend them across civil society, to ensure that we stand united in our efforts to eradicate human trafficking."
Mr Shatter echoed Mr Ford's words and warned that Ireland couldn't afford to be complacent in the fight against trafficking.
“Trafficking in human beings is an appalling crime, a serious abuse of human rights and an affront to the dignity of the human person," he said.
“It should never be tolerated. We must use all the tools and resources at our disposal to prevent and combat human trafficking.
“Events such as this Forum allow us to take stock of what we have achieved to date, and to consider new methods of tackling this issue, particularly in the area of locating and identifying victims and in demand reduction - the major themes of today's forum.
“We cannot be complacent with regard to our efforts to identify victims, prosecute those who perpetrate this crime and in seeking to ensure that the victims of this human rights abuse are afforded the supports and services they require.
“The Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of my Department and An Garda Síochána, in conjunction with their counterparts in Northern Ireland, are continually vigilant for any emerging trends relating to human trafficking and maintain a dialogue on this matter with the relevant State agencies and non-governmental organisations working in this area."
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