Fixers tackle NI human trafficking

Published Thursday, 07 August 2014
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Fixers, the local charity which helps give young people a voice, is raising awareness of human trafficking and how it can affect anyone, anywhere.

In the past year almost 40 people have been rescued from trafficking conditions, with many of them young people from Northern Ireland.

A group of Bangor teenagers has got together to help raise awareness of trafficking and to help direct those who are involved toward help.

Amy Arnott explains: "The thing that shocked me most was that human trafficking doesn't just happen in countries abroad, it happens on your doorsteps and it happens in your country."

In the past year 38 victims of trafficking have been rescued, 18 of them were minors and many from Northern Ireland.

It makes me feel guilty that I can enjoy my life while people - the same age, living in the same country - are being forced to do manual labour and unspeakable things and it's shocking and horrible to think that I have freedom and they don't.

Fixer Amy Arnott

Detective Chief Inspector Phillip Marshall from the PSNI's Serious Organised Crime Branch said anyone could find themselves a victim of trafficking.

He added: "People think you have to travel across an international border and you have to be a foreign national to be a victim.

"Anyone can be a victim of human trafficking, it doesn't matter whether you've moved one mile or a thousand miles, if you're exploited, if you're moved for the purposes of exploitation, you will be a victim of human trafficking."

Amy, and her youth group friends, have made a film with the help of Fixers to make people aware of human trafficking and to urge others to speak out.

She added: "We want people to be aware of human trafficking and not afraid to speak out about it.

"I really hope that people will stop and take a second look and if they suspect something they tell someone about it.

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"No one should have to go through this and no one should have to suffer in this way."
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