One of the greatest tragedies in the 21st century is the trafficking of human beings, Conservative candidate Ian Nickels has said.
He added: “Trafficking has spread from the Far East to Europe to the United Kingdom and now to our small island of Ireland. This is a sad indictment on what is happening in Northern Ireland at the moment.
“Northern Ireland is known to be the worst country in Europe for trafficking. Women are being brought in for sexual exploitation. Men too are trafficked into the fishery business and mushroom farms - often living in squalid conditions and paid a pittance.
“However, there is some good news. Northern Ireland has taken the lead in developing anti-trafficking legislation and is the first country in the UK to have laws passed through Lord Morrow’s bill. I recently visited the Solas Trust NI charity shop in Lurgan. They raise funds for a safe house that provides refuge and restoration for rescued trafficked women and is a vital form of rehabilitation for the many desperate and damaged women. This charity does amazing work in turning these young women’s lives around and I personally commend the charity leaders and volunteers in the work they do.
“As a compassionate Conservative candidate running for the Upper Bann, I passionately believe that it is an obligation for political leaders and parties to tackle this evil in our community. For too long the local parties have played ignorant and buried their heads in the sand. This is an issue I will be tackling. It is is happening on our door steps and its time that local politicians stopped arguing about flags and started tackling this evil, which is what I intend to do if I am elected on the 5th May.”