The way in which the GLAA operates and the partners we work with vary slightly in Northern Ireland.
In England and Wales, the GLAA has responsibilities to investigate reports of Modern Slavery in all industry sectors.
In Scotland, the primacy for this lies with Police Scotland but the GLAA support this activity to target, dismantle and disrupt serious and organised crime.
In Northern Ireland we operate under The Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004 tackling worker exploitation, tax evasion and health and safety negligence.
If you are an employment agency, labour provider or gangmaster who provides workers to the sectors listed below, you will need a GLAA licence:
- Shellfish gathering
- Any associated processing and packaging
Find out more about GLAA licensing
Forced and bonded labour and human trafficking offences are investigated by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) at present and the GLAA assist where an offence has been committed in the regulated industry sectors.
Summary of differences in place in the different jurisdictions
• Investigate Modern Slavery Sections 1&2 in respect of forced labour (England and Wales only)
• Slavery and Trafficking Risk Orders (England and Wales only)
• Labour market undertakings, orders and enforcement notices (England , Wales and Scotland NOT Northern Ireland)
• National Minimum Wage and EAS powers (England, Wales and Scotland NOT Northern Ireland)
• We have powers of arrest and search and produce documents in Northern Ireland
• The CPS in England is the PPS Public Prosecution Service in Northern Ireland
The Department of Justice
The Department of Justice is the lead Government Department in Northern Ireland with responsibility for Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking. As part of its commitments to section 12 of the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Criminal Justice and Support for Victims) Act (Northern Ireland) 2015, the Department publishes an annual Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Strategy.
The overall aim of the Strategy is to ‘Equip Northern Ireland to identify and eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking’. It outlines shared strategic outcomes, objectives and activities which are focussed on:
- enhancing the operational response to PURSUE and disrupt offenders and bring them to justice;
- putting the PROTECTION and needs of adult and child victims at the centre of our response; and
- engaging partners across key services, business, non-Governmental organisations and the wider public in PREVENTING modern slavery.
It is intended to move from an annual strategy to a three-year strategy, subject to NI Assembly agreement, to enable a more comprehensive framework for both short and long-term policy priorities. The 2021-22 Modern Slavery Human Trafficking Strategy can be found here: Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Strategy for Northern Ireland 21-22 | Department of Justice (justice-ni.gov.uk)
Further information in Northern Ireland about human trafficking can be found via the link below:
Modern Slavery/Human Trafficking (MSHT) | Organised Crime Task Force (octf.gov.uk)
or Human trafficking | nidirect
GLAA Partners in Northern Ireland
Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI)
You can report any concerns to the police about yourself or another person on 101 or if someone is in immediate danger, then dial 999.
Information on PSNI, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking
The PSNI have a dedicated PSNI Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Unit (MSHTU) . The responsibility of the MSHTU is to investigate organised crime involving cross jurisdictional human exploitation and assist in the identification and protection of victims of modern slavery and human trafficking. For more information about this specialised unit, go to the PSNI website Human Trafficking (psni.police.uk)
It doesn’t matter what age, gender, race or sexuality you are anyone can be a victim of Human trafficking.
You do not have to report concerns to the police - you can pass on information anonymously to the independent charities Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or the UK Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700.
Working in collaboration with national and international law enforcement and statutory agencies such as the GLAA working together we play a key role in combating human trafficking and modern slavery with regard to its prevention, detection, investigation and the recovery and protection of victims.
Border Force Northern Ireland
Safeguarding at the border
Frontline staff in Border Force Northern Ireland are provided with training in identifying potential victims of modern slavery, and guidance issued to staff sets out indicators of modern slavery, including forced labour. In addition, we also have a network of specially trained Safeguarding and Modern Slavery teams who receive classroom training focussing on the knowledge and skills needed for this area.
Our remit covers a wide variety of safeguarding work, including human trafficking, modern slavery, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), forced marriage, honour based abuse, child sexual abuse and exploitation, working to increase awareness in these areas.
We work closely with partners and stakeholders in identifying and dealing with organised crime groups behind human trafficking and modern slavery under the umbrella of the Organised Crime Task Force.
Public Prosecution Service
The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) is the principal prosecuting authority in Northern Ireland, with responsibility for taking decisions as to prosecution in all cases investigated by the police. We also consider cases initiated or investigated by other statutory authorities, such as HM Revenue and Customs. We act impartially and in the interests of justice at all times, applying the highest professional standards and treating everyone fairly and with respect. We are at the heart of the criminal justice system and work with partners to build a safer community in which we respect the law and each other.
The PPS Code for Prosecutors sets out guidelines on the general principles to be applied in determining in any case whether criminal proceedings should be brought, what charges should be preferred and how prosecutions should be conducted.
Migrant Help provides support services for adult male victims, mixed gender couples and family units.
National Northern Ireland Migrant Help
CT16 1AT Tel: (013) 0420 3977
Migrant Help Northern Ireland
28 Bedford Street
Office Mon – Fri, 9am – 5pm
Tel: (028) 9031 5744 Out of hours Tel: (028) 9244 8449
Belfast and Lisburn Women’s Aid (BLWA)
Belfast and Lisburn Women’s Aid supports adult female victims including those with children and those who are pregnant as a result of their exploitation.
BLWA also supports the repatriation of women who wish to return to their countries of origin. In instances where Migrant Help receives a disclosure of domestic violence or sexual abuse from a female who is accompanying a male partner, the female is then referred to BLWA who will take responsibility for providing support.
Belfast & Lisburn Women's Aid
30 Adelaide Park
Web address: http://belfastwomensaid.org.uk/
Telephone: 028 9066 6049 (9-5pm)
0808 802 1414 (freephone 24 Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline)