1 June 2015
On 29 May, the public event “Childhood without Exploitation and Violence” took place in Odesa on the occasion of the International Day for Protection of Children. The event was aimed to draw attention of Odesa community members and the city visitors to the social issues of human trafficking, forced children mendicancy, as well as raise public awareness about children rights protection.
The event was held in the downtown, on Deribasivska street, where children and adolescents were able to take part in creative master classes, educational quizzes and games, contests and dance flash mobs for the whole day. The participants had a chance to learn about such important and often new issues like bulling and cyber-bulling, the possible risks of human trafficking and children involvement into sex-tourism.
Well-known Ukrainian journalist, Yegor Gordeiev, 1+1 TV channel “TSN” news program host, became the anchor of the event and briefed the participants on the children’s rights and ways to protect them. “Every child has a right to a happy childhood, love and care. But unfortunately children are the most vulnerable to the modern dangers like human trafficking. Adults have a duty to protect children. Our important task is to teach children to respect themselves, to know their rights and to be able to protect themselves. Our event is aimed to teach children to think independently and be able to deal with risky situations, but we would like to do it in an interesting and joiful manner,” noted the TV anchor. During the event, experts on the education abroad, consultants of the “La Strada” children’s hotline, the Criminal Police Children Department officials were available to answer the questions from participants.
Immediately after opening of the event, Dima Borisov’s gastrofamily, Children Department of Odesa City Criminal Police and IOM Ukraine presented a joint initiative to combat children’s forced mendicancy. In the framework of the initiative, employees of the Dima Borisov’s gastrofamily restaurants will report the cases of children mendicancy, and the Children Department of Odesa City Criminal Police officials will put every effort to take children from the streets. According to IOM, almost 30% of children who were assisted after they became victims of human trafficking in Ukraine were exploited in forced mendicancy.
The “Childhood without Exploitation and Violence” event was jointly organized by the IOM Mission in Ukraine, Children Department of Odesa City Criminal Police, NGO “Faith, Hope, Love”, International Women’s Rights Center “La Strada Ukraine”, and supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Canada and the Government of the Swiss Confederation.