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What is human trafficking?

Slavery is an umbrella term for activities involved when one person obtains or holds another person in compelled service.


Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery where a person is forced into a service against their will – usually forced work or forced prostitution. Control can be physical, financial and psychological.

Human trafficking is not a historic problem

It happens today. It happens here in Northern Ireland.

Human trafficking is a crime.

Take a Closer Look

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4 P's of Trafficking

United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons

01 Prevent

Trafficking in persons

The prevention of trafficking is a key goal of the Trafficking Protocol. One way to effectively prevent human trafficking is to address the issue comprehensively, rather than focusing on individual aspects of the problem. This approach allows for a more holistic understanding of the issue and can lead to more effective prevention strategies. By taking a comprehensive approach, countries can better address the root causes of trafficking and develop targeted solutions to combat this crime. This approach also helps to strengthen partnerships and cooperation between different stakeholders involved in anti-trafficking efforts, leading to a more coordinated and impactful response. 

03 Prosecute

Its perpetrators

A mandatory requirement of the Trafficking Protocol is for States Parties to criminalize trafficking in persons. Unless trafficking in persons is a crime in domestic law, there is a risk that other crimes that exist in the law will not be sufficient to bring traffickers to justice, allowing the ongoing exploitation and abuse of victims to go unpunished. Where trafficking in persons is not criminalized, or is not criminalized in a way that aligns with the Trafficking Protocol, trafficking may be treated as a less serious crime, international investigative cooperation may be hampered, and victims may be denied access to the full package of rights that they should be entitled to as victims of human trafficking

As defined by the Trafficking Protocol, three elements must be present to constitute the crime of trafficking: An act of the trafficker, by particular means, for the purpose of exploitation. However, if the victim is a child, trafficking in persons is established with only an “act” and exploitative “purpose”; the “means” element is not required (article 3[c] Trafficking Protocol).

02 Protect

And assist its victims

An essential component of migration management is ensuring that migrants who need protection and assistance are effectively identified and referred for appropriate services. The protection and assistance needs of trafficked people can be complex and serious. Victims may need to be protected from traffickers who are part of organized crime groups and networks or who may be seeking retribution for what they believe to be outstanding debts. A victim may have specific care needs because he or she is a child, or because she is pregnant, or because of some other physical or mental health need.

04 Strengthen


The crime of trafficking in persons requires a collaborative response from multiple stakeholders. Ministries of health, women, and children, along with non-State service providers, must work together to ensure victims receive appropriate assistance and support. In cases where victims are in an irregular situation, ministries of foreign affairs and immigration authorities may need to issue humanitarian visas and provide services to help victims remain in the country for recovery and to provide testimony. Immigration authorities may also assist police in gathering evidence by sharing information on traffickers' methods and procedures for bringing victims into the country.

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Why Flourish

By walking alongside those who have suffered, Flourish NI aims to restore hope and dignity. Their compassionate staff understand the challenges of overcoming abuse. If you or someone you know needs help, please consider contacting Flourish NI. Together we can work to end all forms of modern slavery.

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What are the Indicators?

The indicators of sex trafficking and modern slavery are important issues that non-profit organizations work hard to address. Groups that fight human trafficking help people in need and make our communities more just. By recognizing the signs, supporting survivors, and changing unfair policies, we can move closer to a world where all people are treated with dignity and respect.

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Types of Human Trafficking

Human trafficking, trafficking in persons, and modern-day slavery are umbrella terms – often used interchangeably – that refer to the exploitation of individuals through threat or use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, and/or deception. These terms also include the practices of forced labor, debt bondage, domestic servitude, forced marriage, sex trafficking, child sex trafficking, and the recruitment and use of child soldiers, among others.

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