Prostitution and child trafficking, refugees are the target of criminal networks

Prostitution, child and organ trafficking, on the borders of Ukraine, humanitarian organizations warn of the dangers of human trafficking.

“Humanitarian crises benefit pedophile networks”

Almost 4 million civilians have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion began. Among them, 90% would be uprooted women and children. These vulnerable individuals become potential targets. Poland, a country bordering Ukraine, hosts the majority of these refugees. If, according to NGOs, the population shows great solidarity, now is the time for the Polish authorities to take over to avoid the risk of exploitation. Cars continue to help refugees at the Ukrainian border in Poland. However, once on board, there is no record of their care. For Manon Fillonneau, migration manager at Amnesty International France, the lack of traceability is a problem: “The lack of registration systems by the Polish state puts these people at risk. We need an organization that registers the refugees, their means of transport and the shelters they will end up in.”.

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It is clear that these refugees, in situations of vulnerability, are targets for criminal human trafficking networks. Some reception centers then began to organize themselves. Around ten kilometers from the Ukrainian border, in Przemysl, the NGO Medair has been stepping up checks on drivers for a few days. Nathalie Fauveau, member of the on-site team, describes these new arrangements: “The smugglers now have to hand in their license plates and receive a scanned wristband at the same time as the refugees. We also ask for a paper confirming their recommendation by an official organization ».

For UNICEF” Protection of minors must have priority”

Flyers in Ukrainian are also being distributed at the center to encourage refugees not to trust blindly. Philippe Cori, UNICEF Deputy Director for Europe, calls on European states to better manage child protection: “In Europe there has not been such a movement of the population and especially of children since the Second World War. At the border, however, anyone can pass through with a simple passport control. Together with the Polish, Hungarian and Romanian ministries, we are trying to train border guards to uncover potential child trafficking. Unfortunately, pedophile networks benefit from these humanitarian crises. The protection of minors must therefore have priority.. According to the Council of Europe’s Anti-Trafficking Expert Group, almost all refugees are women and children.

Azais Perronin

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