Modern Slavery – can NI’s history of activism shake off its long history of slavery?

A conference organised by the Law Centre NI to examine Eradicating Modern Slavery in Northern Ireland was held in Belfast today. The full audio is embedded below. The Law Centre’s director Glenn Jordan opened proceedings by telling delegates that “this is not simply a matter for legislators alone but for the whole of civic society”. Glenn noted that many Northern Irish merchants and citizens who “benefited from the existence of the slave trade” in the past. One Larne man owned … Read more

Sex workers’ rights in Northern Ireland

With the DUP once again sliding into a comfortable majority and the law to further criminalise sex work due on June 1st, there has never been a more pertinent time to look at sex workers’ rights in Northern Ireland. We don’t have rights, but that’s about to change. As sex workers on the front line we know the damage that the forthcoming law will do. Sweden has the highest number of rapes in Europe, sex workers are being made homeless, … Read more

Noisy DUP conference focuses on election and a one-sided understanding of respect and tolerance #dup14

The DUP were in election mode at their annual conference this year. Gone was any outreach to soft unionist voters. Faced with a first-past-the-post election in May 2015, the DUP reverted to core values for core voters. Attendance in the main hall of La Mon Hotel for Peter Robinson’s address was a little down on the previous couple of years: the seats were all taken but there were fewer people standing at the back. New members I’d noticed a few … Read more

Talking without listening and victory without annihilation

Mick has covered the criminalisation of users of prostitution debate and the spat between Dr. Graham Ellison and Jim Wells ain the Stormont committee below. I thought there might be some merit in looking at what this shows about the DUP’s view of itself, others views of it and how the DUP deals with these sorts of issues. This episode seems to be a case of two sides talking without listening. I am not going to enter into the merits … Read more

Human Trafficking: No one is helped by a fevered moral crusade that promises the earth and delivers nothing

Whatever the liberal media think of the Assembly, it looks like it may be about to score a first and produce its very own indigenous piece of legislation, intriguingly for an Executive of all the parties, through the means of a private members bill. Perhaps that’s because the Minister for Justice shares a concern with the police that the result of Lord Morrow’s human trafficking legislation will be to dilute police resources and drive the problem of trafficked individuals further from … Read more