As Lord Morrow’s Bill becomes law today, I take a look at what happens next, and how you can be a part of it.
Lord Morrow’s Bill comes into full effect today, 1st June 2015.
It’s the result of three years of conversation, research, compromise. We remember sitting in the Senate Chamber in October 2012 – what a significant journey it has been since. The discussion around the Bill has often been heated – and hopefully has raised important points that have caused people in Northern Ireland to consider how best to relate to the most vulnerable in our society.
The Bill is part of a wider UK initiative to strength UK law on trafficking. With the introduction of The Modern Slavery Bill and its implementation through the vehicle of Lord Morrow’s Bill, Northern Ireland now aims to make the country safe for victims, and unwelcoming of traffickers. You can find out more about the legislative framework here by clicking on this link.
The most contentious part of Lord Morrow’s Bill is the criminalisation of the purchase of sex; and due to the diverse and inclusive nature of No More Traffik, we have not taken an official stance on this – though everyone is very welcome to ask individuals within the organisation to share their thoughts.
Our concern has always been, and will always be, the prevention, interruption and cessation of the exploitation of the vulnerable through human trafficking. We are keen to keep bringing the conversation back to this; and we recognise that no matter what our laws say, we cannot solely rely on them to bring about change.
Instead, we see in the community around us the potential for lasting change – and we make three promises today:
We will continue to nurture the growth of local community groups across Northern Ireland, meeting our aim of at least one group in each Super Council by 2017. These groups are run by volunteers who are thoughtful, enthusiastic, progressive, connected, and open. They carry in them the sustainability of the anti-trafficking movement in Northern Ireland.