Ukraine is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. Ukrainian victims are subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour in Ukraine as well as in Russia, Poland, Iraq, Spain, Turkey, Cyprus, Greece, Republic of Seychelles, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Israel, Italy, South Korea, Moldova, China, United Arab Emirates, Montenegro, the United Kingdom, Kazakhstan, Tunisia, and other countries. Ukrainian women and children are subjected to sex trafficking within the country.
A small number of foreign nationals, including those from Moldova, Russia, Vietnam, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Cameroon, and Azerbaijan, were subjected to forced labour in Ukraine in a variety of sectors including construction, agriculture, manufacturing, domestic work, the lumber industry, nursing, and street begging. Some Ukrainian children are subjected to forced begging.
Ukrainians most at risk of trafficking are from rural areas with limited access to employment opportunities and are often targeted by Ukrainian recruiters using fraud, coercion, and debt bondage. Children in orphanages and crisis centres continue to be particularly vulnerable to trafficking within Ukraine.
Ukraine is rated as a Tier 2 Watch List by the US Department of State’s 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report for the second consecutive year indicating that the Government of Ukraine does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Despite these efforts, the government did not demonstrate an increase in their overall anti-trafficking efforts compared to the previous year and therefore Ukraine remained on the Tier 2 Watch List.
La Strada - the International Women's Rights Centre - Ukraine
The International Women's Rights Centre 'La Strada' - Ukraine has been working on the prevention of trafficking in persons, particularly in women and children, the elimination of all forms of discrimination and public violence, promotion of respect for human rights, gender equality, and child rights protection since 1997.
The main goal of the activity of La Strada-Ukraine is to promote gender equality, prevent all forms of gender violence, in particular family violence, prevent trafficking in persons, and protect child rights through promotion of international standards of human rights in all areas of public and state life.
La Strada-Ukraine runs a National Toll Free Hotline against domestic violence, trafficking in persons and gender discrimination, a National child helpline and an Internet hotline against child pornography. Among the organisation's programmes is the National Trainer’s Network, a group of 260 trainers who provide events for specialists and children in 13 regions of Ukraine.
The main objectives of the organisation are:
- Raise awareness of the problems mentioned among specialists, stakeholders and society in general.
- Promote development of effective legislation and monitoring of its implementation.
- Promote re-establishment and development of national mechanisms of assisting victims, ensuring rights and rehabilitation of children, implementation of gender equality, and instruments of claiming discrimination, promotion of cooperation between governmental, non-governmental and international organisations.
- Promote active cooperation between NGOs.
KEY CAMPAIGN ACHIEVEMENTS:
- The Ukrainian TLG campaign was launched at School #129 on 12th November 2013 with the British Ambassador to Ukraine, Simon Smith, speaking to approximately 100 young people about the issue of human trafficking. Representatives of La Strada-Ukraine and Maggie Baxter from the UK TLG team also spoke and fielded questions from the 16 and 17 year olds. 7 TV stations, 2 internet news websites and 2 radio stations covered the event. An estimated 700,000 people would have seen the TV coverage of the event and another 60,000 would have heard the coverage on the radio
- La Strada-Ukraine worked directly with the Ministry of Education to develop campaign materials including guidelines for teachers as to how to use the film and a specific lesson plan.
- The TLG film and campaign was presented to 21 trainers/coordinators of the National Network of Trainers who then disseminated the film to 754 teachers across 9 oblasts of Ukraine. 75% of the teachers that were trained said that the film had increased their knowledge and concern about sex trafficking.
- Within the first phase of the campaign 113 TLG events were organised and 2451 school students aged 11-17 years old participated. Events included screenings, lectures, public discussions and debates. 99% of the students who took part in a TLG workshop said it raised their awareness of sex trafficking.
- La Strada-Ukraine shared the TLG film with a network of 50 partner NGOs working with young people.
- The Child Well-Being Fund, a child rights organisation and one of La Strada-Ukraine’s partners, produced a DVD with samples of anti-trafficking films used in Ukraine for training purposes. The TLG film is included on the DVD which will be distributed to young people aged 15-30 years old organising social activities.
- 3285 events are planned throughout 2014 in 11 oblasts (regions) with an anticipated 75,966 secondary school students participating.
- La Strada-Ukraine also intends to produce a shorter version of TLG for wider TV broadcast.
- The second phase of the Ukrainian TLG campaign began in January 2014 despite rising political tensions and violence. During the first 6 months of 2014 La Strada-Ukraine ran 31 TLG workshops with 818 secondary school children aged 11-13 years old. The workshops took place across 4 regions and in each workshop the TLG film was screened followed by a discussion on the issue of sex trafficking.
- As part of the second phase of the Ukrainian campaign La Strada-Ukraine has run 4 teacher trainings in which 111 teachers participated. The teachers were taught to run TLG workshops with the young people they work with. La Strada-Ukraine estimates at least 2,775 students will take part in TLG workshops as a result of these trainings.