Section 12

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Forced labour Human trafficking Slavery

This provision requires the Department of Justice to publish an annual strategy on human trafficking, slavery, servitude and forced labour offences, with the purpose of raising awareness and contributing to a reduction in the number of such offences.

The strategy must make arrangements for cooperation between relevant organisations dealing with victims of human trafficking, slavery, servitude and forced labour; must include provisions regarding training and equipment of those involved in investigating or prosecuting relevant offences; and include plans to raise awareness of the rights and entitlements of victims.

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Section 12. Strategy on offences under sections 1 and 2

(1) The Department shall, at least once in every year, publish a strategy on offences under section 1 and 2 (“relevant offences”).

(2) In drawing up the strategy the Department must—

(a)consult with other relevant organisations; and

(b)have regard to views expressed by such organisations.

(3) The purpose of the strategy is to—

(a)raise awareness of relevant offences in Northern Ireland;

(b)contribute to a reduction in the number of such offences.

(4) The strategy shall in particular—

(a)set out arrangements for co-operation between relevant organisations in dealing with relevant offences or the victims of such offences;

(b)include provision as to the training and equipment of those involved in investigating or prosecuting relevant offences or dealing with the victims of such offences;

(c)include provisions aimed at raising awareness of the rights and entitlements of victims of such offences.

(5) In this section “relevant organisation” means any body, agency or other organisation with functions or activities relating to relevant offences or the victims of such offences.

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).