On Monday, the purchase of sexual services became a criminal offence in Northern Ireland. To mark the occasion, MLAs from across the political parties and a wide array of NGOs were invited to an event hosted by Lord Morrow in the Senate Chamber of the Northern Ireland Assembly.
Amongst those present to mark this historic occasion, Mia De Faoite – a survivor of prostitution – spoke powerfully about the need for the new law and received a long standing ovation. Other contributions came from Alban Maginness MLA, the SDLP Justice Spokesperson, Women’s Aid, and Rhoda Grant MSP, a Labour Member of the Scottish Parliament who travelled especially to speak at the event.
Lord Morrow spoke last to close proceedings and also received a standing ovation with cheering from the assembled gathering. It has been a huge privilege for CARE in Northern Ireland to have been closely involved in seeing the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Act 2015 become a reality. We are incredibly grateful to God for the successful passage of the legislation and will be watching closely to see that all its provisions are implemented in the months and years ahead.