Sinn Féin MLA Sinead Ennis has welcomed the Justice (Sexual Offences and Human Trafficking) Bill which was approved by the Assembly today.
The party’s Justice Spokesperson said:
“Today marks an important milestone in the battle against sexual offending and human trafficking.
“This justice bill marks the first piece of legislation to implement recommendations from the Gillen Review on serious sexual offence cases.
“New offences will be created for up-skirting and down-blousing, representing a positive step forward in the fight against image-based sexual abuse.
“The bill will also improve protections for children against sexual exploitation and abuse, and improves services for victims of trafficking and exploitation.
“I also welcome the Justice Minister’s commitment to bring amendments to the legislation to strengthen the law on ‘revenge porn’; outlaw the use of ‘rough sex defence’ in sexual offence cases; and extend abuse of trust legislation to further protect children from grooming and sexual exploitation.
“This Bill puts the interests and welfare of victims front and centre, and I now look forward to working to strengthen and improve the bill further as Deputy Chair of the Justice Committee.”