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Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Criminal Justice and Support for Victims) Act (Northern Ireland) 2015

Part 3

Sections 17 to 21 make provision in respect of the assistance and support that is to be made available to victims and potential victims of human trafficking.  Section 17 sets out definitions for this part of the Act.

Section 18 places a statutory duty on the Department of Justice to provide assistance and support to adults who are potential victims of human trafficking, during a 45 day “recovery and reflection” period, pending determination of their status as victims by a competent authority.  This is in line with the United Kingdom’s responsibilities under Article 10 of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (under which the United Kingdom has established a National Referral Mechanism for the identification of victims of human trafficking).

Section 19 requires the Department for Health, Social Services and Public Safety to prepare and publish a strategy, in conjunction with other Northern Ireland Departments, which will provide a programme of assistance and support made available to a person who wishes to leave prostitution. Each Department will be responsible for delivering the aspects of the programme which fall within their remit.

Section 20 requires the Department of Justice to produce guidance in respect of compensation for victims of human trafficking.  Section 21 makes provision for an independent guardian to be appointed for a child who is a victim, or a potential victim, of human trafficking, or who is determined to be a separated child.

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Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

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