28 July 2017
On Sunday, 30 July, the World Day against Trafficking in Persons will be marked globally and in Ukraine.
The number of Ukrainians who became victims of human trafficking since 1991 is estimated at 230,000 people, according to the latest research commissioned by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) – the UN Migration Agency. Since 2000, the IOM Mission in Ukraine has helped more than 13,400 trafficking survivors return to a life free of exploitation. IOM provides medical care, psychological counselling, shelter, legal consultation, representation in court, as well as a vocational training and small-grants supporting those who aspire to set up their own business.
No one is immune to the threats of human trafficking in Ukraine, as 60% of IOM-assisted victims are men, more than 65% have at least vocational education, 70% are coming from urban settlement. The youngest victim assisted by IOM Ukraine was three, and the oldest was 83 years old. In 2016 only, IOM assisted 1,151 men, women and children who suffered from forced labour and sexual exploitation in 21 different countries, including Ukraine. From January to June this year, 639 victims of trafficking have been identified and assisted, which is a 30% increase in comparison with the same period of 2016.
Over 90% of victims suffered from labour exploitation and over 80% were exploited in neighbouring countries, mainly the Russian Federation and Poland.
“Another worrying tendency is that nowadays every fifth Ukrainian is ready to accept a risky job offer that can lead to trafficking,” says Manfred Profazi, Chief of Mission at IOM Ukraine.
In order to prevent people from falling prey to traffickers, IOM Ukraine launches a new website of the National Tall-Free Counter-Trafficking and Migrant Advice Hotline www.527.org.ua. It raises awareness about the threats of modern-day slavery and provides helpful information about safe migration. The website is easy to use on different devices and visitors can call the toll-free hotline with just a click. There is also the option to receive an online consultation through the new website for people while they are abroad or for other reasons prefer to get it online instead of calling.
For more information, please contact Varvara Zhluktenko, IOM Ukraine, firstname.lastname@example.org, +38 044 568 5015, +38 067 447 97 92