UKRAINE: HUMAN TRAFFICKING CRISIS APPEAL

Hope for Justice has launched a crisis appeal to protect vulnerable refugees who are fleeing Ukraine and are being targeted by human traffickers. Please, help fund this vital work to keep these people safe, particularly unaccompanied children and those who are coming to the UK under the new Government scheme.

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“The human traffickers moved in within a day or so of refugees starting to come across the borders… the criminal gangs have moved to make money from the trafficking of what they consider to be yet another commodity – that is, human beings.”

Former British Prime Minister Theresa May MP, March 15th 2022

THE NEED IS URGENT

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is the largest military attack in Europe since World War II. Over 2.5 million people have already fled the country. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees says the forced displacement “looks set to become Europe’s largest refugee crisis this century”.

Most of the refugees are women and children. Many more have been internally displaced, and are at significantly increased risk of human trafficking.

As long as the invasion of Ukraine continues, the vulnerability of displaced people in the country to human trafficking will increase due to deteriorating rule of law and impunity, further forced displacement, humanitarian need and socio-economic stress, and social fragmentation.

Human trafficking will also escalate in the countries to which people from Ukraine are fleeing. There are credible reports of attempts to traffic women and girls fleeing Ukraine in neighbouring countries, including Poland and Romania.

ANTI-TRAFFICKING COMMUNITY STANDING IN SOLIDARITY

More than 60 of the world’s most influential anti-trafficking leaders and organizations, including Hope for Justice, have come together to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the impact it is having on the risk of human trafficking in the region. In our open letter, we call for the Russian authorities to withdraw their troops immediately from Ukraine, and for investigations into potential war crimes, crimes against humanity and human rights violations associated with human trafficking (by either party).

We call on the countries that are welcoming refugees to ensure they implement effective prevention measures against human trafficking. This includes training for frontline agencies; safe and legal routes for those who are fleeing; measures to more easily enable potential victims to be identified; trauma-informed and holistic care to be made available for survivors of trafficking; and steps taken to ensure perpetrator accountability. Give to Hope for Justice’s Ukraine Human Trafficking Crisis Appeal today to help those most in need.

“Human trafficking and conflict feed each other. By promising stability, security and employment, traffickers often appear to offer a greater prospect of hope for individuals who might have left everything behind.”

RESOURCES AND MATERIALS

Hope for Justice’s awareness materials and educational resources are available in many languages and we have specific flyers and posters for the Ukraine crisis. These materials, in Ukrainian, offer vital messages about the signs that refugees need to look out for and be cautious of before accepting help, as well as our general Spot the Signs awareness factors in Ukrainian on the reverse.