Human Traffickers and the War in Ukraine

Photo by Viktor Bystrov, unsplash




Diplomacy and Foreign Relations, Conflict Resolution and Mediation, Human Rights and Migration

Interview: How to Stop Human Traffickers from exploiting the War in Ukraine

The implications of the war in Ukraine are manifold. For people fleeing the country, the risk of becoming victims of human trafficking is unfortunately real, especially women and children are at risk. GDL member Eirliani (Lin) Abdul Rahman spoke up about how to stop human traffickers from exploiting the war in Ukraine in an interview with rbb Radio Berlin Brandenburg. You can read the German interview here, her article in the Diplomatic Courier on the same topic goes into even more detail.

If you are a private citizen intending to help in volunteer efforts and come across a child who is alone, please note the following guidelines, adapted from UNICEF:

– Do not immediately assume that the child is lost. Verify that she is unaccompanied or has been separated from her family. Ask refugees in the immediate vicinity if they know her.

– At any point, never leave the child alone. Do not, under any circumstance, leave the child with another volunteer, whom you do not know.

– After having taken the first step and you are now certain the child is unaccompanied or has been separated from her family, ask the child for her name, age and hometown, and information about her family. If the child is unable to provide this information, ask other refugees in the vicinity what they know.

– Keep the child’s clothes and belongings with her at all times. These might help authorities trace her family.

– Contact a trusted authority such as the local municipality government, border police, Ukraine’s embassy/consulate in the host country, and/or officials from UNICEF. Share the child’s information and location, and follow the authority’s instructions. Do not leave the child.

– Do not share information about the child with anyone else, aside from the authorities.

– Explain to the child what will happen next. Do not promise that you will find her family members. This could cause confusion and distress if you need to hand her over into the hands of a trusted authority or a child protection officer.

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