"EVERYONE CAN FALL VICTIM TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING. EVEN YOU." On International Dy for the Abolition of Slavery IOM Launches the Awareness Campaign

2 December 2020

Women, men and children, residents of villages, towns and cities, senior and very young, with incomplete schooling or degrees have fallen victim to human trafficking abroad and in Ukraine. IOM estimates that almost 50,000 individuals have been directly affected over the three years from 2017 to 2019 only.

"Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation is only getting more complicated," said Anh Nguyen, Chief of Mission at IOM Ukraine. “In difficult economic conditions, people are forced to look for opportunities to earn a living and often take risks. That is why in 2020 IOM, with the support from donors, government partners and NGOs, is reinforcing its work on trafficking prevention.”

The vast majority (97%) of victims identified by IOM over the last 11 months have suffered from labour exploitation. About three fourths (74%) of them are men. About eighty per cent (80%) of victims have technical or higher education. Yet there is still a widespread perception in the society that human trafficking is predominantly sexual exploitation, that victims are mostly women, and that an educated person cannot fall into trafficking trap.

A large-scale national campaign, which starts on 2 December, the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, is designed to dismantle these stereotypes. IOM will be implementing the campaign jointly with the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine and the All-Ukrainian NGO Coalition Against Human Trafficking with funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

"There is no single profile of a victim of modern slavery. Anyone, even you, can fall prey to traffickers,” the campaign alerts and calls on Ukrainians to be cautious when looking for employment. Campaign’s video portrays different types of human character, of different gender and age; their faces overlap, and their voices unite to tell a story of exploitation. The posters support the general concept: they depict a single portrait created by overlaying many faces. Radio spots debunk common myths about human trafficking, and banner advertising leads Internet users to stoptrafficking.org platform, where Ukrainians can find information and practical advice. All campaign materials include contact details of the Counter-Trafficking and Migrant Advice Hotline 527, which has been providing free and anonymous advice on safe migration and employment for almost 15 years. More than 20,000 people call the hotline annually.

The creative concept of the campaign was developed by the advertising agency Ogilvy and Mather. The media placement is provided by IQ Media agency.

IOM Ukraine has been assisting trafficking victims in the country for 22 years. In addition to preventive awareness-raising campaigns, IOM provides assistance to victims of human trafficking and vulnerable population at-risk of human trafficking, exploitation and abuse. IOM also provides capacity development support to the criminal justice chain in Ukraine, state social services, and anti-trafficking non-governmental organizations. Almost 18,000 victims have received medical, psychosocial and legal assistance, vocational training and equipment to help them start their life again.

For more information please contact Ms. Varvara Zhluktenko, IOM Ukraine’s Communications Officer: +38 067 447 97 92, vzhluktenko@iom.int