Human trafficking ‘GIFT box’ on display in Mid and East Antrim
Friday 10 November 2017
Mid and East Antrim Policing and Community Safety Partnership are getting people talking about human trafficking.
A huge walk-in ‘GIFT box’ art display at Fairhill Shopping Centre aims to raise awareness by highlighting the promises made to people on the outside, then once inside, the reality of what can happen.
The structure is a unique project launched by STOP THE TRAFFIK and the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Trafficking (UN.GIFT).
This is the first time the box has been to the Borough but has previously been on display at the London 2012 Olympics and other cities across the UK.
The Chair of MEA PCSP Cllr Brian Collins said, “The GIFT box is a unique way to raise awareness about modern slavery and human trafficking and gather knowledge on the issue.
“The large walk-in street sculpture invites you inside with promises but once inside you are presented with a different reality. People have found that the GIFT box is a place to talk about how they themselves have been trafficked, their concerns about suspected victims of trafficking and even conversations that lead to regional trafficking rings being disrupted.”
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Cllr Paul Reid said, “I would like to thank Mid and East Antrim’s PCSP for securing this GIFT box and Fairhill Shopping Centre for allowing the structure to go on display. Human trafficking and slavery are important issues and this great initiative will really get people talking about it. Human trafficking is happening across Northern Ireland and can affect anyone of any age, gender or nationality. If you know the signs, it will be easier to report.”
Department of Justice, Head of Organised Crime Branch, Julie Wilson said: “Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking is a very real problem across the United Kingdom. Events to help raise awareness are essential in our efforts to make Northern Ireland a hostile environment for would-be traffickers and enslavers. We congratulate Mid & East Antrim PCSP on the delivery of their innovative event in Ballymena.”
If you are suspicious that human trafficking is going on in your area you can report it anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or the PSNI on 999. You can also contact the Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 0121 700.