Ford hails planned anti-slavery hotline

Justice Minister David Ford
Justice Minister David Ford

Justice Minister David Ford hailed news that a dedicated telephone number is to be established for reporting suspected cases of slavery.

He was speaking after it was revealed on Wednesday that the hotline for slavery matters is to be set up with the aid of £1m from internet giant Google.

Also aiding in the running of the service will be an organisation called Polaris, which has run a 24-hour US-based hotline for the last several years.

There is no fixed date for its launch, and the number is not known yet.

Mr Ford said in a statement: “This is a positive step forward in the fight against traffickers and slavery masters. These are truly horrific crimes that dehumanise people. I am pleased that victims in Northern Ireland and across the whole of the UK stand to benefit from the enhanced helpline.”

The new hotline is expected to consist of a team of operators who are available 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week. The service is to be available in more than 200 languages.