European & International News

Northern Ireland lifestyles "could fuel human trafficking"

[Brussels, 30 October 2013] The EWL is closely following the developments in Northern Ireland regarding the legislation on prostitution and trafficking in human beings for sexual exploitation. The article below presents an exhibition addressing the consequences of human trafficking and exploitation, and displayed at the Northern Ireland Assembly, in Belfast.

Northern Ireland lifestyles ’could fuel human trafficking’

An exhibition highlighting the consequences of human trafficking and exploitation has been put on display at Stormont. The Assembly is currently considering introducing legislation dealing with the issue.

Entitled ’Is your purchase causing someone pain?’, it highlights how our lifestyles may be fuelled by child slave labour and sexual exploitation.

The powerful piece was a commission by Romanian photographer Adrian Cot and was opened by the First Minister Peter Robinson in the Long Gallery at Parliament Buildings on Tuesday.

The event is being sponsored by DUP MLA Lord Morrow, who has put forward a private members’ bill to tackle human trafficking in Northern Ireland.

The proposed legislation has caused some controversy by proposing to outlaw paying for sex.

Lord Morrow said that this exhibition is about making the public think about the human costs of the pursuit of glamour and wealth.

"People do not really think - and I have to say that I thought like this too - this doesn’t happen in Northern Ireland, [that] this happens in some far flung corner of the earth," he said.

"Also, it’s true it happens here and is happening here, and I think as legislators here in Northern Ireland, we have a duty and responsibility to do something about it. Hence the reason I have brought my private members’ bill."

Human trafficking and exploitation has become a very topical issue at Stormont because of Lord Morrow’s Bill - but it is a global problem. In fact, this exhibition has already been on display at the European Parliament.

Lord Morrow’s bill is currently being considered by an Assembly committee.

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