Kyiv, 2 December 2016
On the occasion of the International Day for Abolition of Slavery, the International Organization for Migration has opened in Kyiv a public installation DIMENSIONS3 to educate public on risks of human trafficking and motivate Ukrainian communities to join in the fight against human trafficking – a form of modern day slavery.
According to the IOM estimates, more than 160 000 Ukrainians have fallen prey to human trafficking since 1991. “Since the year 2000, IOM has provided over 12,500 victims of trafficking with comprehensive reintegration assistance, which included legal aid, medical care, psychological counselling, financial support, vocational training, and other types of assistance based on individual needs,” said Manfred Profazi, IOM Ukraine’s Chief of Mission. “Crisis and protracted conflict prompt additional risk factors and heighten vulnerabilities of Ukrainian men, women and children to false promises of recruiters and traffickers,” he added.
“To know, to understand, and to act – these are the messages we would like to spread among the citizens,” stated Natalia Fedorovych, Deputy Minister of Social Policy of Ukraine. “When our citizens decide to work abroad, we would like to let them know that this is really vital for them to work officially, to sign appropriate contract. We are also calling on our citizens not to be indifferent when they see violations of other people’s rights.”
From January till September 2016, IOM Ukraine has assisted 777 victims of trafficking, who were exploited mainly in Russia, Poland, and internally in Ukraine. 90% suffered from exploitation in forced labour, 60% of victims, assisted by IOM this year, are men. 80% have university or vocational school education and 72% come from cities and towns, which is a reflection of the deepening economic crisis in Ukraine.
“Those who are in challenging economic circumstances or simply looking for something different or better, I would ask you to take care,” said Thomas White, Director of the Office of Democracy and Governance, USAID, addressing the audience at the installation opening. “There are people who may try to entice you with unrealistic offers. Ask questions to know your employers before making a change, make sure that you have a written contract, and never let go your travel or identification documents.”
DIMENSIONS3 installation provides people with useful information about the nature of trafficking in people, real stories of victims, safe travel and safe employment advice, and dedicated counter-trafficking hotlines. The installation has been produced by IOM in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine, with funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). It will travel throughout Ukraine in 2017, raising awareness of the dangers of trafficking in human beings.