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DUP backs Northern Ireland trafficking Bill

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

Many were exploited in a modern-day version of the slavery of previous centuries, the DUP leader added.

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 or threatening the safety of women.

Mr Robinson said: "There are hundreds of people being exploited here in Northern Ireland, people being dehumanised."

DUP Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA Lord Maurice Morrow is piloting Stormont legislation dealing with prostitution and trafficking. He and the First Minister attended a Stormont event on trafficking yesterday.

But Justice Minister David Ford says criminalising paying for sex could threaten the safety of prostitutes.

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