Swiss Confederation and IOM support Ivano-Frankivsk region residents in community development and protection from migration-related threats

On June 20th 2013,  in the village of Chesnyky (Ivano-Frankivsk region) a friendly football match between rural communities and a team of international organizations and Ukrainian authorities took place on the football pitch laid with the support of the Swiss Confederation and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Communities won with the score of 1:0.

The Ivano-Frankivsk oblast is one of four Ukrainian regions where the project ?Preventing Human Trafficking through Social Work and Community Mobilization? has been implemented since 2009. The project is funded by the Swiss Confederation and implemented by IOM in partnership with the NGOs Child Well-Being Fund of Ukraine and the Western Ukrainian Resource Centre. Project participants in the Ivano-Frankivsk region are more than 20 schools, two boarding schools, four vocational schools and seven communities (in Rohatyn, Kolomya, Halych, Bohorodchany and Horodenka districts).

During his visit to Ivano-Frankivsk, Mr. Guido Beltrani, Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office in Ukraine, stated that ?the Swiss Confederation supports Ukraine in minimizing migration-related challenges, as Ukraine is a source, transit and increasingly a destination country for trafficking in human beings.?

According to IOM, over 120,000 Ukrainian women, men and children have fallen victim to human trafficking since 1991. People from regions with high migration, including those having previous successful experience of employment abroad face particular risks of being exploited both inside Ukraine and in other countries.   

 ?People residing in small towns and rural areas often do not have access to reliable information about risks of human trafficking and ways to protect themselves. Lack of jobs and economic challenges push people to accept seemingly attractive offers of work abroad, underestimating hidden dangers and frauds posed by traffickers,? says IOM Ukraine?s Chief of Mission Mr. Manfred Profazi. ?Therefore this project successfully aims to provide people with better information and access to economic opportunities, both of which significantly reduce their vulnerability.?

Chesnyky village in the Rohatyn district of the Ivano-Frankivsk region is one of the 28 Ukrainian communities participating in the project. The Head of the Chesnyky village council Mr. Oleh Nahirniak says his village has greatly benefited from the initiative: ?By opening the village info-centre, kindergarten, improving the heating system of the local school and laying a football field, Chesnyky residents have learnt that in addition to outside support they can change a lot on their own?.

The project ?Preventing Human Trafficking through Social Work and Community Mobilization?, funded by the Swiss Confederation, is implemented in four regions of Ukraine. 28 rural communities characterized by lack of economic opportunities and high levels of labour migration, as well as 115 schools, 22 boarding schools and 27 vocational schools in Lviv, Donetsk, Ivano-Frankivsk regions and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea are involved in the project activities. Experts are working with initiative groups to improve living standards and drive communities? development. From improving street lighting to creating ethnographic museums at schools, from establishing rabbit farms to building kindergartens and children?s playgrounds, small projects have empowered participating communities and provided sustainable solutions.  The Human Trafficking Prevention Programme for 7-11 forms? pupils was developed in the framework of the project, endorsed by the Ministry of Education and recommended for Ukrainian schools.

 

For further information please contact IOM Ukraine Communications Officer Ms. Varvara Zhluktenko (+38 044 568 50 15, 067 447 97 92, vzhluktenko@iom.int)

 

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