Corporate criminal liability Criminal liability Human trafficking
Section 2 defines and criminalises human trafficking and sets out a penalty of up to life imprisonment for this offence. The definition in the Northern Ireland Human Trafficking and Exploitation Act is consistent with the definition contained in the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015. This provision defines human trafficking as “arranging or facilitating the travel of another person with a view to that person being exploited”.
Subsection 6 establishes the extraterritorial application of the Act, providing that UK nationals, persons resident in Northern Ireland, and companies incorporated in the United Kingdom, will be liable under the Act irrespective of where the arranging, the facilitating or the travel takes place. Subsection 7 provides that other persons will only commit an offence under section 2 if any part of the arranging or facilitating takes place in the UK, or the travel consists of arrival in or entry into, departure from, or travel within, the UK.
Significantly, this provision establishes the extraterritorial application of the Northern Ireland Human Trafficking and Exploitation Act for UK nationals, corporations registered in the UK and Irish residents. This section provides the basis for individual and corporate criminal liability for human trafficking offences committed abroad.
Section 2. Human trafficking
(1) A person (“A”) commits an offence if A arranges or facilitates the travel of another person (“B”) with a view to B being exploited.
(2) A may in particular arrange or facilitate B’s travel by recruiting B, transporting or transferring B, harbouring or receiving B, or transferring or exchanging control over B.
(3) A arranges or facilitates B’s travel with a view to B being exploited only if—
(a)A intends to exploit B (in any part of the world) during or after the travel, or
(b)A knows or ought to know that another person is likely to exploit B (in any part of the world) during or after the travel.
(4) “Travel” means—
(a)arriving in, or entering, any country,
(b)departing from any country,
(c)travelling within any country.
(5) The consent of B to any act which forms part of an offence under this section is irrelevant.
(6) A person to whom this subsection applies commits an offence under this section regardless of—
(a)where the arranging or facilitating takes place, or
(b)where the travel takes place.
(7) Any other person commits an offence under this section if—
(a)any part of the arranging or facilitating takes place in the United Kingdom, or
(b)the travel consists of arrival in or entry into, departure from, or travel within the United Kingdom.
(8) Subsection (6) applies to—
(a)a UK national;
(b)a person who at the time of the offence was habitually resident in Northern Ireland; and
(c)a body incorporated under the law of a part of the United Kingdom.
(9) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for life.
Law / United Kingdom / Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Criminal Justice and Support for Victims) Act (Northern Ireland)
The Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Criminal Justice and Support for Victims) Act (Northern Ireland) received Royal Assent on the 13th of January 2015.
The objective of the Act was to provide Northern Ireland with a more robust legal framework in relation to the prosecution of traffickers and those subjecting people in Northern Ireland to conditions of slavery; the provision of improved support for victims; and tackling the demand for the services of trafficked victims.
The Bill also sought to achieve improved compliance with international obligations under the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings and the European Directive on Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and Protecting its Victims.
This Northern Irish legislation, is part of a movement to consolidate and strengthen the laws addressing human trafficking, forced labour, slavery and servitude in the UK. As part of this process, legislation was adopted across the UK, in Northern Ireland (Human Trafficking and Exploitation Act ), Scotland (Human Trafficking and Exploitation Act), and England and Wales (Modern Slavery Act).