This week, a BBC investigation in Northern Ireland uncovered that up to £500,000 is spent every week on prostitution and police estimate there are 88 brothels in operation. Read more here.
Police said gangs can make millions of pounds a year by trafficking women in to the country and exploiting them. Northern Ireland has a higher demand for prostitution than many other areas in Europe and the authorities know that something needs to be done but the police are able to tackle it all. But the police shouldn’t have to do it alone. Communities also have a role in combating human trafficking. They need to increase their participation in making their neighbourhoods hostile to trafficking through involvement in awareness raising and community action.
Last week, one of our staff members was in Belfast delivering a workshop at a training day lead by Belfast City council and Migrant help line. The event was attended by frontline professionals, services providers and community members who were passionate about wanting to understand the indicators of trafficking and how to appropriately respond/report if they came across cases.
“For me the value of the day was meeting those who represented their communities across Northern Ireland. People wanted to know what role they could play in the fight to combat trafficking in Northern Ireland.” – STOP THE TRAFFIK staff
We have an ACT group in Craigavon who are beginning to increase awareness and understanding of the issues so that Craigavon becomes a community where it is harder for traffickers to hide themselves and their victims. If you’re in Northern Ireland (or anywhere else around the world!) why not start your own ACT group and do your part to make your neighbourhood traffik-free.