UKRAINE

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Situation

21 November 2013: Beginning of Euromaïdan

28 February 2014: Beginning of the crisis in Crimea

18 March 2014: Incorporation of Crimea to Russia

6 April 2014: Donbass War which is still raging at the end of 2020

According to the UN the conflict has already made 10’300 dead.

Adding to the general precariousness and unemployment already prevailing before the beginning of the events, this war – which jeopardizes the social economy of the whole country – forces every year thousands of additional people to seek to migrate, exposing themselves to the risks of being abused and exploited by the traffickers’ mafias. The regions controlled by the self-proclaimed republics of Lugansk and Donetsk are particularly vulnerable to repression and crime.

Published by the IOM office in Kyiv in March 2020 (before the pandemic exploded): “Due to the continuing difficult economic and security situation in Ukraine, in the first quarter of 2020 (01 January – 30 March 2020), IOM Ukraine identified almost twice as many victims of trafficking (VoTs) as in the previous year (428 VoTs in vs. 257 VoTs in the same period of 2019). This trend has continued since 2015, the second year of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. In the whole of 2019, IOM had the highest number of VoTs (1,345 victims in total) ever assisted since the launch of its counter-trafficking program in 1998.
Most VoTs and assisted returnees have been successfully reintegrated into society and have been employed in different spheres.
However, with the current COVID-19 epidemic, most of them are now without any income or source of livelihood, as they are mostly self-employed with loss of income or illness as a result of the epidemic,
VoTs and their families are already pushed into extremely vulnerable or exploitative situations.

Objectives

  • Direct assistance to trafficking victims
  • Fight against impunity by prosecuting recruiters & traffickers in the courts of Ukraine
  • Prevention of trafficking with orphans and vulnerable families.

 

Partners: Avenir Association in the west of the country (Jytomyr), and our independent lawyer Gennady Gerasimenko in the east (Kharkiv).

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Achievements 2020

Combined with the results of previous years we achieved the following:

  • 56 trafficking victims received legal assistance during 14 trials held in the Jytomyr region
  • 149 victims received legal assistance during 34 trials held in the East

In almost all the trials we obtained the conviction of criminals with significant deprivation of liberty sentences.

In 2020, 10 victims of trafficking were repatriated from the country of exploitation.

The ass. Avenir organized 211 trafficking prevention sessions during which several thousand citizens received information to protect them from the risk of being trafficked.

At the end of the year, Vivere decided to support Avenir for the second time in its project ‘Prevention of trafficking by assisting families at risk due to lack of resources, presence of orphans, etc.’.