Public Transport Information Campaign Against Exploitation Launched in Ukraine

Kyiv, 22 May 2024 — For several months, trolleybuses, trams, buses and an intercity train will inform Ukrainians about the risks of getting into situations of exploitation and human trafficking.   

The information campaign “They Used You” is being implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Mission in Ukraine in cooperation with the All-Ukrainian Coalition of NGOs Against Human Trafficking, with financial support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of Justice of Sweden. 

On 21 May, the Kyiv-Kharkiv train, also used for evacuation from Kharkiv region, departed from Kyiv railway station on its first trip as part of the information campaign. Public transport has started running in 10 other regional centres: Vinnytsia, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Odesa, Poltava, Rivne, Ternopil, Uzhhorod, Khmelnytsky and Chernihiv. The campaign is aimed specifically at people who are in a situation of uncertainty, travelling to another city or even country, and therefore are at higher risk of falling victim to fraud or risky employment or housing offers.  

Stephen Rogers

“We have chosen cities that have sheltered a significant number of displaced people, as the war and forced migration in the country only increase the risks of people falling into modern slavery. In 2023 alone, the International Organization for Migration in Ukraine identified and assisted 374 survivors of human trafficking, of whom 23% were displaced persons. Another 663 people were affected by labour exploitation,” said IOM Ukraine Deputy Chief of Mission Stephen Rogers. “IOM's research shows that no matter what kind of education a person has, what gender or age they are, criminals can take advantage of difficult life situations. Our goal is not only to help those who have already been affected, but also to prevent them,” he added.

Theodora Dell

"We know that traffickers have targeted Ukrainians for decades, and the International Organization for Migration estimates that 300,000 Ukrainians have been trafficked since 1991. The Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine opened new opportunities for criminals, because millions of people left their homes, and quickly rushed to unfamiliar places,” said Theodora Dell, Deputy Mission Director of USAID Ukraine. “We must work together to prevent this cruelty. Today, international partners stand with Ukraine and are ready to protect the vulnerable from human trafficking."

"We cannot accept the fact that people fleeing war find themselves in a situation of exploitation and abuse," added Nils Dahlquist, Second Secretary of the Embassy of Sweden in Ukraine.

Nils Dahlqvist

The exterior design of the public transport will feature stories about the most common forms of exploitation: labour exploitation, sexual exploitation, forced begging and survival sex. Inside, passengers will also find information about the signs of human trafficking, tips on how to protect themselves, as well as contacts for the National Anti-Trafficking and Migrant Counselling Hotline 527 and the Government's Anti-Trafficking and Violence Hotline 15-47, as well as links to

Intercity train


SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
SDG 16 - Peace Justice and Strong Institutions