The Department of Justice and Equality has joined forces with the Northern Ireland Department of Justice to raise awareness of human trafficking on the island of Ireland.

Irish Justice Minister Alan Shatter T.D. and Northern Ireland Justice Minister David Ford, MLA have today launched a photography & video competition on human trafficking for Third Level students. The competition is open to all Third Level students on the island of Ireland.

The idea of the competition is to encourage students to become aware of the issue of human trafficking and to consider what human trafficking really means, while at the same time showcasing their huge creative talents. Entrants are being asked to research human trafficking and present their understanding of the issue via photograph or short video. There are three prizes for each category as follows: 1st prize €1,000; 2nd prize €500; 3rd prize €250.

The judging panel will comprise Ms Amanda Byram, TV Presenter and Spokesperson for the anti-trafficking organisation Love 146; Irish Artist Colin Martin from the Royal Hibernian Academy and Journalist Eamonn Mallie. Judges’ marks will account for 80% of the overall marks for each entry; the remaining 20% will be decided by members of the public through Facebook where they can vote on the 12 short-listed entries.

Launching the campaign Minister Shatter said: "Trafficking of human beings for sexual and/or labour exploitation or the removal of organs is a heinous crime that has no place on the island of Ireland. Both David Ford and I recognise the importance of raising awareness of human trafficking and have decided to join forces on this initiative targeting students and the public in general through Facebook."

Justice Minister David Ford said: "It is incredibly important that we continue to make every effort to raise awareness of human trafficking. Understanding the issue, being aware of the signs and reporting information or suspicions to the police is vital if police are to bear down on the traffickers and recover victims. 

I welcome this competition which is jointly sponsored by my colleague Alan Shatter. It is an opportunity for third level students to better their understanding of this issue." 

More details of the competition and information on the issue can be found at www.blueblindfold.gov.ie and www.octf.gov.uk. 

Members of the public can report suspicions of human trafficking anonymously to the Garda Síochána through Crimestoppers at 1 800 25 00 25 or via a dedicated email
 blueblindfold@garda.ie. Anyone with suspicions of human trafficking in Northern Ireland can report their concerns anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


18 October 2012
 

Note for Editors:
 

The joint human trafficking photography & video competition is being run in Ireland to coincide with EU Anti-Trafficking Day on 18 October, 2012.

§ Entrants must be resident in the Republic of Ireland or in Northern Ireland and be currently enrolled in full-time or part-time Third Level education.

§ Photography entries (any colour) must be emailed to ahtucomps@justice.ie AND to octf.queries@dojni.x.gsi.gov.uk in a suitable format that can be modified/resized at a later date (e.g. Jpeg). One photograph per entrant is permitted.

§ Video entries can be a minimum of 30 seconds up to a maximum of 5 minutes in length. Failure to adhere to these restrictions will result in an automatic disqualification of the entry.

§ A link to video entries must be forwarded via email to ahtucomps@justice.ie AND to octf.queries@dojni.x.gsi.gov.uk.

§ The closing date and time for entries to the competition is 12 noon on Friday 16 November, 2012. 

§ Twelve entries (6 from each category) will be short-listed by an independent judging panel.

§ 80% of the marks allocated to entries will be based on the following judging criteria: 
- Effectiveness in highlighting the issue of human trafficking (25 marks)
- Accuracy of the facts and information presented (25 marks)
- Creativity, innovation and originality(25 marks)
- Quality of the entry. (25 marks)
The remaining 20% of the marks will be determined by members of the public via Facebook.

§ The twelve short-listed entries will be uploaded to both the AHTU’s Facebook page and the OCTF’s Facebook page. The title of the Facebook pages are Anti Human Trafficking Unit Ireland http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Anti-Human-Trafficking-Unit-Ireland/305656599447325 and Organised Crime Task Force Northern Ireland www.facebook.com/pages/OCTF/136184833076303 

§ The public will be invited to "like" their favourite(s) of the short-listed entries over a one week period (from noon 23 November until noon 30 November). The number of "likes" on each entry on both Facebook pages will be added together and will account for 20% of the overall competition marks for each entry.

§ All entries together with the creator(s) details (e.g. name, educational institution and town) may be used for publicity or awareness raising purposes by either the Department of Justice and Equality (ROI) or the Department of Justice (NI).

§ Entries should be emailed to the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU), Department of Justice and Equality (ROI) at ahtucomps@justice.ie and to the Organised Crime Task Force (OCTF), Department of Justice (NI) at octf.queries@dojni.x.gsi.gov.uk. For more details visit the websites: www.blueblindfold.gov.ie and www.octf.co.uk. 

Please note that photographs of the judges are available upon request.