Northern Ireland

Forty-five 'rescued from human traffickers' in Northern Ireland

Demo outside parliament on Anti-slavery Day 2013 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption In all, 30 adults said they had been exploited for cheap or free labour - 23 of them were men and seven were women

Forty-five potential victims of human trafficking were rescued in Northern Ireland last year, according to the National Crime Agency (NCA).

They said they were subjected to domestic servitude, labour or sexual exploitation, the NCA said.

One girl and three women said they had been sexually exploited.

Twenty-two of those rescued were Romanian, 10 were from China and others were from Albania, Vietnam and Lithuania.

In all, 30 adults said they had been exploited for cheap or free labour - 23 of them were men and seven were women.

The figures, published in the National Referral Mechanism Statistics End of Year Summary 2014, are 10% higher than in 2013.

Staff at Belfast International Airport have been trained by human rights organisation, the International Justice Mission (IJM), to spot trafficking victims.

Its UK chief executive, Terry Tennens, said: "The vast majority of trafficking victims come from backgrounds of poverty, which makes women and girls especially susceptible to traffickers' schemes of deception.

"They are more likely to accept a fraudulent job offer or an insincere marriage proposal that involves moving to another location or country."

Last year, IJM trained more than 18,900 police, prosecutors, government officials and community members worldwide to be able to recognise and combat all forms of violent crimes in their communities, including human trafficking.

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