Human traffickers face up to 14 years behind bars in Northern Ireland under new legislation making its way through Stormont.
The Criminal Justice Bill has now completed its second stage at Stormont.
The strengthened legislation ensures that traffickers operating across international borders are not immune from prosecution here.
Justice Minister David Ford said it is both “a sad and shocking reality” that people are trafficked into and through Northern Ireland for sexual and labour exploitation.
“The fact that there is a demand for this form of modern day slavery in Northern Ireland is disturbing and I know that this is a view shared across this Assembly and wider society,” he added.