Two out of every five vulnerable children in Ukraine are at risk of falling victims to human trafficking

19 April 2016

Forty (40%) per cent of vulnerable minors from 13 to 17 are ready to accept at least one offer that may lead to their involvement in human trafficking.

These are the results of a representative survey of vulnerable children and youth*, as well as expert interviews with representatives of organizations that work with such groups, commissioned by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Mission in Ukraine, and conducted by GfK Ukraine with funding from Global Affairs Canada.

The survey covered children in difficult life circumstances and orphans; children from foster families and family-type homes; children displaced from the conflict zone in the east of Ukraine; children with special needs; homeless children; young people detained in penitentiaries; and youth of vocational schools.



According to the survey results, the majority of children and young people representing all vulnerable groups are aware of the human trafficking situations and know to whom to turn if they face a possible situation of trafficking in Ukraine or abroad. However, the social conditions and surrounding environment can sway children and youth to engage in different types of risky behaviour.

Thus, 72% of young people aged 13-20 and detained in penitentiaries revealed the highest propensity to accept at least one proposal that may lead to human trafficking involvement – the highest rate among all nine vulnerable groups of children and youth that were surveyed. Moreover, over one-half of vocational school students (53%) as well as 51% of homeless children 13-17 years old exhibit a similar inclination.

by Children 13-17 years of age who live in family-type homes and children of internally displaced persons are the most unlikely to accept at least one proposal that may lead to human trafficking involvement – only 22% are ready to accept such an offer.

Of the types of risky offers, the surveyed children and youth would be the most inclined to accept a proposal to work without official an employment contract in their own communities (up to 54% among different groups), to undertake well-paid suspicious or illegal work (up to 32%), to try drugs (up to 27%), or to go to a stranger’s home or to get in a stranger’s car (up to 20%).

Sixty (60%) per cent of those respondents who would accept at least one risky proposal were boys.

“Despite the relatively high overall awareness among the surveyed children and youth about human trafficking, the majority of them, except for orphans aged 13-17 living in boarding schools, did not receive any timely information over the last year about how to prevent human trafficking. Given the propensity for risky behaviour, we need to target an information campaign at preventing human trafficking among vulnerable children and youth in Ukraine”, stated Hanna Antonova, IOM Ukraine Counter-Trafficking Programme Coordinator.

 * The survey was conducted via face-to face interviews in all regions of Ukraine, except for Crimea and the non-government controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk Regions, in October – December 2015. The survey sample was 2,079 children and young people.

For addition information please contact Varvara Zhluktenko, IOM Ukraine, +38 044 568 5015, +38 067 447 97 92