Search Legislation

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

Section 1: Slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour

Section 1 creates a new offence of slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour which replaces the previous offence under Section 71 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009.  It makes it an offence to knowingly hold another person in slavery or servitude or to knowingly require another person to perform forced or compulsory labour.

Subsection (2) defines what is meant by slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour by reference to Article 4 of the Human Rights Convention.

Subsections (3) and (4), taken together, provide that in determining whether a person is a victim of an offence under this section regard may be had to that individual’s personal circumstances and, in particular, to any circumstances which would make them more vulnerable than others to being exploited.

Subsection (5) clarifies that the victim’s consent to any part of an offence under this section is irrelevant.  Subsection (6) makes offences of slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour in Northern Ireland triable on indictment only.  This is in line with the former arrangements for human trafficking offences in Northern Ireland under the Criminal Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 2013.

Back to top


Print Options


Explanatory Notes

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.


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources