The risk of trafficking in human beings as a result of the war in Ukraine
As a result of the war in Ukraine, the EU is currently facing the biggest refugee crisis since World War II. According to recent estimates, around 12 million people have been forced to leave their homes. More than 5 million Ukrainians have left the country to seek refuge in EU countries, mainly women and children, who are particularly vulnerable in terms of trafficking in human beings.
Many people are offering assistance to Ukrainian citizens, including lodging in private premises, offering work, and offering transport to other regions or even other countries. There may, however, also be traps behind certain offers and apparent assistance that could turn individuals into victims of trafficking in human beings.
In the accommodation facilities in Logatec and Debeli Rtič, cases were detected where individuals were looking for or attempting to establish contacts with women refugees from Ukraine. They also offered marriage arrangements and accommodation in private apartments in exchange for providing sexual services and performing various household chores. A suspicious ad offering a job in the fashion industry was also detected.
The National Working Group on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings therefore points to the risks posed by the crisis in Ukraine in relation to human trafficking. Traffickers aim to exploit victims, most often through prostitution, sexual abuse, forced labour, servitude, commission of crime, begging and organ trafficking. In this regard, the process of trafficking in human beings, while being exploited or for the purpose of exploitation, includes other actions of traffickers, such as recruitment, transportation, relocation, providing shelter and the use of certain means, such as force, threat, deception, kidnapping, abuse of a subordinate or dependent position, giving or receiving payment or other benefits; all with the intention of gaining consent or control over the victim.
If you detect suspicious circumstances or if you think that an individual may be a victim of trafficking in human beings or if you could become one yourself, call the Police or contact non-governmental and humanitarian organisations that work in the field of combating human trafficking. The list of them and contact details are provided on this website.
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