The roots of Freedom Acts were established in 2011 as a local voluntary group emerged in under the banner of Stop The Traffik. Led by Mel Wiggins and Laura Wylie, the Craigavon Stop The Traffik group took part in delivering human trafficking public awareness campaigns across the wider Craigavon area.
As the interest in the issue grew, Mel and Laura worked with local Co. Armagh charity Community Intercultural Programme to develop the work further and secure funding for a more intensive project. Freedom Acts was born in 2012 as a programme of CIP.
Community Intercultural Programme is committed to assisting people from different community and cultural backgrounds by offering a range of support services. The unique programmes and projects aim to give new communities the information, tools and social connection necessary to settle in, develop and thrive here in Northern Ireland.
CIP help develop and advocate for women, families, young people and those vulnerable to exploitation.
From 2012, Freedom Acts has focused on delivering awareness and training to many voluntary and statutory groups, engaging over 8000 people directly through school lessons, seminars, workshops and presentations.
In 2013/14 Freedom Acts created several resources for teachers (in partnership with the Department of Justice NI) and youth workers to educate young people in issues of trafficking, activism, fair-trade, grooming, online safety and healthy relationships.
As well as sitting on the Department of Justice NGO Engagement Group on Trafficking, Freedom Acts also coordinates a local Human Trafficking & Exploitation Steering Group in the ABC Area.
The work of Freedom Acts has been recognised locally and regionally with awards for Community Safety and Justice in the Community.
In 2018 Freedom Acts launched it’s first strategic prevention programme with individuals at-risk of exploitation and continues to work preventatively in four focus areas.