IOM Takes Co-Chair Role at Anti-Trafficking Task Force in Ukraine

IOM staff providing information at the train station in Uzhhorod, Zakarpattia Region. Photo: IOM/Gema Cortes 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), Mission in Ukraine, and La Strada Ukraine took a co-chair role at the Anti-Trafficking Task Force created to ensure that anti-trafficking efforts are integrated in the protection response during the war in Ukraine. The new body was launched in May under the umbrella of the Global Protection Cluster and its representation in Ukraine, bringing together UN agencies, international and non-governmental organizations.

The Task Force will identify anti-trafficking trends, gaps and priorities, build the capacity of humanitarians who may come into contact with people at risk of, or who have been, trafficked, and ensure coordination of efforts among partners for comprehensive and people-centred support.

On 20 May, the Task Force jointly with the Protection Cluster in Ukraine, released a statement, acknowledging that risks of human trafficking are increasing due to ongoing hostilities, reduction of safe pathways to leave affected areas, coupled with people’s loss of income-generating activities, depletion of resources, dwindling access to goods, limited access to affordable accommodation, loss of documentation, and family separation. The Task Force urged humanitarians to be alert and take effective prevention and protection measures, in particular ensuring the rights and best interests of children.

Since 2000, IOM in Ukraine provided comprehensive reintegration assistance to over 19,200 persons, affected by human trafficking. More than 1,200 persons have benefited from IOM’s Economic Empowerment Programme, setting up over 500 micro-enterprises and creating new jobs. Another 3,900 trafficking survivors and vulnerable migrants benefited from the services, provided by IOM’s Medical Rehabilitation Centre, the only one of its kind in Ukraine.

Since the start of a full-scale war, IOM has been working jointly with its vast network of partner NGO in all regions of Ukraine, providing tailored protection assistance to the most vulnerable internally displaced persons (IDPs), conflict-affected population, and third-country nationals. During three months of the war, almost 8,500 persons benefitted from this assistance. Scaling up its trafficking prevention efforts, IOM distributed some 160,000 leaflets on safe migration, trafficking prevention and gender-based violence awareness in 14 oblasts of Ukraine and in Moldova. The IOM-supported National Toll-Free Migrant Advice and Counter-Trafficking Hotline 527 has provided almost 35,000 consultations in response to over 8,000 calls received since 24 February.

In partnership with European Union, IOM also launched an all-Ukraine awareness-raising campaign for prevention of human trafficking during the war, disseminating information material through national media, social networks, and outdoor advertising.


For more information:

Eliza Galos, IOM Ukraine Migrant Protection and Assistance Programme Coordinator:

Anna Karelina, IOM Ukraine Migrant Protection and Assistance Programme Assistant:

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