Belfast Telegraph

Bin men and taxi drivers to help identify victims of trafficking

By Michael McHugh

Bin men and taxi drivers are among those to be trained in spotting victims of human trafficking in Northern Ireland.

A major event is being planned for Belfast early next year to raise awareness of exploitation.

Since April this year more than a dozen potential human trafficking victims have been referred for specialist support.

Often they are vulnerable, lured by traffickers with false promises of paid employment, intimidated, and having little idea how to seek help.

Julie Wilson, head of the human trafficking team at the Department of Justice, said: "Belfast City Council is hoping to run an event in early January; they are trying to target a lot of groups, like taxi drivers, hotel staff, environmental health inspectors, bin men."

Hundreds of people have fallen victim to traffickers in Northern Ireland, First Minister Peter Robinson has said.

His party is supporting an Assembly Bill toughening measures surrounding prostitution. Part of it faces opposition from some experts and senior MLAs, who fear driving the trade underground.

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