Soroptimist International of Lurgan together with MP David Simpson made a fresh drive to increase awareness of human trafficking with a breakfast seminar in Craigavon Civic Centre.
At the seminar, attended by Justice Minister David Ford, they presented principals and teachers with a resource pack which has been developed by The Department of Justice in partnership with Freedom ACTS and The Engagement Group on Human Trafficking with input from CCEA.
The resource pack is the first of its kind and is equipped to assist teachers of year 10 and key stage 4 as they raise awareness of trafficking.
Soroptimist International Lurgan congratulated local women, Mel Wiggins and Laura Wylie, who the club has worked with in the past in their development of Craigavon ACTS.
Joanne Harris, President of Soroptimist International of Lurgan said: “The raising awareness of human trafficking among our young people is particularly important to Soroptimists because one of our objectives is to eliminate violence against women and girls.
“We are actively working with governments to stop human trafficking which is modern day slavery. We are a global organisation for women and we work as volunteers locally, nationally and internationally on issues like this to benefit women and girls. “
Upper Bann MP David Simpson welcomed the initiative by Soroptimist International and the Department of Justice for tackling human trafficking.
Mr Simpson said: “This vile crime destroys lives and damages communities. It is truly international in its scale, with potential victims identified from over 80 different countries to date. Child trafficking victims are brought to the UK for many purposes, including sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, benefit fraud, cannabis farming, street begging, theft and shoplifting.”
He added: “Teachers are one of the most influential individuals in young people’s lives and I therefore welcome this strategy and was pleased to co-host the seminar.”
Justice Minister David Ford said: “Human trafficking rips apart the lives of its victims and that is why tackling it effectively needs to involve the whole of society.”
Also at the event was Education Minister John O’Dowd who said: “Sadly it is the case that we must teach our children about human trafficking – its existence, its impact on real lives and what we can do to tackle it.”