This is a terrible finding and on which associations are constantly alerting.

People fleeing Ukraine are increasingly vulnerable to human traffickers.

A new report released on Tuesday calls for the registration of victims, especially unaccompanied minors.

More than two million children have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion on February 24, according to the 42-page report compiled by Dutch anti-trafficking organization La Strada and commissioned by Britain's Freedom Fund.

Signs of human trafficking activity

“People fleeing war, primarily women and children, are extremely vulnerable and face heightened risk of sexual and labor exploitation as organized criminal groups and unscrupulous individuals profit from the crisis,” said organizations in a press release.

There are already signs of human trafficking activity since the start of the war "and it is likely that these risks will increase in the coming period as the war continues", the report said.

Implement protective measures

The study, based in particular on research carried out in March and April with the help of the UN and interviews with different actors, called for "urgent action" by European governments and international agencies "to invest in the promotion of registration of refugees in order to ensure rapid access to protection measures”.

In particular, unaccompanied minors and children separated from their families should be identified and registered “as early as possible” and tracked through transit points.

The researchers urged countries to work together to find missing children and introduce mandatory checks for unaccompanied minors.

Inform vulnerable groups

They also called for the prevention of adoptions, which could lead to the sexual exploitation of children or illegal adoptions, recommending that "efforts must first focus on reuniting children with their families".

Other vulnerable groups, including women, non-Ukrainian citizens and members of the Roma community, should receive appropriate information about the dangers of trafficking, he said.


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