NIHRC Submission to DoJ consultation on measures to strengthen the response to Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking
Date produced May 2022
Below is a summary of the recommendations.
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2.11 recommends the Department of Justice ensure that Protocol Article 2 is built into and considered actively during the development and implementation of all legislation and/or policy.
3.11 The NIHRC recommends that the Department of Justice introduces Slavery and Trafficking Risk Orders and that these are promptly provided for by legislation.
3.15 recommends that the Department of Justice, in partnership with the Police Service of NI, develops a comprehensive and sufficiently-resourced specialised training package on the use, management and monitoring of Slavery and Trafficking Risk Orders. This training should be mandatory for everyone involved in fulfilling these roles. The training should also be kept under review and updated as necessary.
3.23 recommends that the Department of Justice develops robust statutory guidance to support the use of Slavery and Trafficking Risk Orders in NI. In line with international human rights standards and Protocol Article 2, this guidance should require individual assessments of victims to be conducted for the purposes of identifying the necessity and proportionality of a risk order.
3.24 recommends that the Department of Justice ensures that any statutory guidance on Slavery and Trafficking Risk Orders explicitly incorporate the best interests of the child and take account of children’s particular vulnerability to human trafficking and child sexual exploitation.
3.29 recommends the Department of Justice consider how it intends to process personal data associated with Slavery and Trafficking Risk Orders and Prevention Orders and ensure that this is compliant with Protocol Article 2 and EU General Data Protection Regulations.
4.14 recommends that the Department of Justice requires compulsory specialised training and guidance to all relevant staff. Relevant staff includes at least those with a duty to notify. Training should be trauma-informed and victim-centred, to ensure victims are accurately identified and supported.
4.18 advises the Department of Justice to give close consideration to relevant EU Directives and Court of Justice of the EU jurisprudence in its development and implementation of regulations relating to the Duty to Notify.
4.19 advises that training for public authorities on the Duty to Notify should identify and guide the importance of anonymity for potential victims.
5.3 recommends that the Department of Justice ensures any use of Slavery and Trafficking Risk Orders is recorded, monitored and thereafter evaluated by the Police Service of NI. Any steps required following evaluation must be taken immediately. This process should involve meaningful engagement with representative organisations, victims or potential victims that are protected by the risk orders, and individuals that are subject to the risk orders.
5.6 recommends that the Department of Justice ensures that implementation of the duty to notify is subject to robust and frequent monitoring and evaluation. This process should consider whether victims are being identified and supported, oversee the adequacy and frequency of training delivered to public authorities and ensure remedial steps are implemented. This should be subject to annual reporting alongside commitments in the NI Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Strategy.
6.5 seeks further information from the Department of Justice on its proposal for additional search powers under section 10 of the Police and Criminal Evidence (NI) Order 1989, which should include:
- analysis of current statutory powers and comparison with other jurisdictions;
- proposed safeguards to ensure the power is not used arbitrarily; and
- a detailed human rights impact assessment, with particular regard for Article 8 ECHR.