Published Friday, 21 March 2014
Ross Kemp was in Bangor to launch Flourish NI. (© UTV)
Kemp attended the event in the Clandeboye Lodge Hotel, Bangor on Thursday to show his support for the organisation as well as all other agencies involved in tackling human trafficking, an international issue which is of great interest to him.
He said: "There are more slaves in the world today than any other time in history. It's a trade that brings misery to millions of people, whether it be bonded labour, domestic servitude or sexual exploitation. Human trafficking is a crime against all that's human.
"I support wholeheartedly Flourish NI and North Down and Ards ACT (Active Communities again Human Trafficking)."
Jill Robinson, from Flourish NI, said the aim of the organisation is to empower survivors of human trafficking and other forms of exploitation to move forward and build better lives.
She explained: "We will offer practical support and guidance as well as compassion and friendship to those who need it most. Depending on the specific needs of each person we will provide services such as financial advice and support, access to specialist legal advice, training or educational opportunities, help to find employment and with housing issues, signposting to vital resources and a range of therapies as well as the opportunity to build life skills so they can engage fully within wider society.
"We would like to thank everyone who has supported this event, particularly Ross Kemp, North Down and Ards ACT, who hosted it, as well as the PSNI who have supported it."
Chief Superintendent Peter Farrar, from PSNI, added: "This event was a great opportunity to raise awareness of the issue of human trafficking. As the Police Service of Northern Ireland, we are committed to ensuring the safety of any potential victims of human trafficking and apprehending offenders.
"Partnership is critical to combating this horrendous crime and groups like Flourish NI play an important role in ensuring the needs of survivors of trafficking and exploitation are met and that they are given the support they need.
"But we also need the help and support of local communities. We need them to be our eyes and ears. Information from the public is a crucial part of identifying potential victims and assisting investigations.
"I would encourage anyone with information about trafficking or anyone who is a victim of trafficking to contact police on 0845 600 8000 or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."
© UTV News