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Street Children

Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

Poverty drives the unsuspecting poor into the hands of traffickers

Published reports & articles from 2000 to 2025                           


Ukraine's dependence on Russia for energy supplies and the lack of significant structural reform have made the Ukrainian economy vulnerable to external shocks. Ukraine depends on imports to meet about three-fourths of its annual oil and natural gas requirements. Ukraine concluded a deal with Russia in January 2006 that almost doubled the price Ukraine pays for Russian gas. Disputes with Russia over pricing have led to periodic gas cut-offs.

Real GDP growth reached roughly 7% in 2006-07, fueled by high global prices for steel - Ukraine's top export - and by strong domestic consumption, spurred by rising pensions and wages.

Description: Description: Description: Description: Ukraine

However, political turmoil in Ukraine as well as deteriorating external conditions are likely to hamper efforts for economic recovery.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Ukraine is a source, transit and, to a lesser extent, destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Forty-eight percent of the trafficking victims assisted by IOM and its local NGO partners in Ukraine in 2008 suffered sexual exploitation; three percent had been forced to beg; and 49 percent suffered other forms of forced labor.

Women were forced into the sex industry, or forced to work as housekeepers, in service industries, or in textile or light manufacturing. The majority of Ukrainian male labor trafficking victims were exploited in Russia but also in other countries, primarily as construction laborers, factory and agriculture workers, or sailors.  - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009    Check out a later country report here and possibly a full TIP Report here



CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in the Ukraine.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of Human Trafficking are of particular interest to you.  Would you like to write about Forced-Labor?  Debt Bondage? Prostitution? Forced Begging? Child Soldiers? Sale of Organs? etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to include precursors of trafficking such as poverty and hunger. There is a lot to the subject of Trafficking.  Scan other countries as well.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.

HELP for Victims

La Strada Ukraine

Within Ukraine – 0800 500 225

From abroad – 442 053 736

International Organization for Migration  44-568 50 15

Country code: 380-



Ukraine leads in number of human trafficking victims in Eastern Europe, group says

Associated Press AP, Kiev, February 19, 2007

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 12 September 2011]

More Ukrainian men, women and children have been trafficked abroad and forced into indentured labor or prostitution than in any other Eastern European country since the Soviet collapse, an international migration group said in a report Monday.

The organization said the full scale of trafficking through, from and within Eastern Europe is difficult to determine since most victims are unwilling, scared or unable to contact authorities.

Sex Traffickers Prey On Eastern Europeans

Ron Synovitz & RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, August 23, 2005

[accessed 5 January 2011]

Maria is a 30-year-old mother from Ukraine who left behind her husband and two young children to take what she was told would be a job in Italy as a cleaner.  The recruiters who originally promised her a high-paying salary were men who posed as representatives of a legitimate employment agency. Maria says they gained her trust because they looked professional and persuasive.

Maria says her nightmare began after she and the other women arrived in Italy and were met by several suspicious men. They were human traffickers in the illegal global sex industry.   "We went there and arrived in one city. They took us to a building on the outskirts of the city and they told us to clean off, to relax from the travel. Later, they confronted us with the fact that we would be providing sex services. It is a shock for a human being. Escape from there was impossible. The windows were barred and there was the constant presence of a guard," Maria said.

*** ARCHIVES ***

2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Ukraine

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 29 June 2021]


During the year the IOM responded to numerous instances of compulsory labor, to include pornography, criminal activity, labor exploitation, begging, and sexual and other forms of exploitation.

Nearly all trafficking victims identified in the first half of the year were subjected to forced labor and labor exploitation. The most prevalent sectors for forced labor exploitation were construction, manufacturing, and agriculture. The vast majority of victims identified in the first half of the year had a university degree or vocational education. Annual reports on government action to prevent the use of forced labor in public procurement indicated that the government has not taken action to investigate its own supply chains for evidence of forced labor. Traffickers subjected some children to forced labor (see section 7.c.).


The most frequent violations of child labor laws concerned work under hazardous conditions, long workdays, failure to maintain accurate work records, and delayed salary payments. The government established institutional mechanisms for the enforcement of laws and regulations on child labor. The limited collection of penalties imposed for child labor violations, however, impeded the enforcement of child labor laws.

Freedom House Country Report

2020 Edition

[accessed 10 May 2020]


The trafficking of women domestically and abroad for the purpose of prostitution continues. IDPs are especially vulnerable to exploitation for sex trafficking and forced labor.

Labor laws establish a minimum wage that meets the poverty level, as well as a 40-hour work week and workplace safety standards. However, workers at times go unpaid, and penalties for workplace safety violations are lenient.

2017 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, US Dept of Labor, 2018

[accessed 22 April 2019]

[accessed 8 May 2020]

Note:: Also check out this country’s report in the more recent edition DOL Worst Forms of Child Labor

[page 1004]

In 2017, the conflict with Russia-led forces in the east of the country continued. The government’s continued policy focus on national security, as well as budget cuts associated with the conflict, negatively affected its ability to address the worst forms of child labor. (9) Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine has created more than 1.7 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), including more than 190,000 children. (18; 19; 20) The inability of many IDP families to access adequate shelter and available social benefits puts children at increased risk of exploitation in the worst forms of child labor. (21) In particular, the Ministry of Social Policy (MSP) noted an increased vulnerability to both domestic and international human trafficking among the IDP community. There have been reports of kidnapping of girls from conflict-affected areas for commercial sexual exploitation and labor exploitation. (10; 22; 17) Displaced individuals from the Roma community, an estimated 10 percent of whom lack identity documentation, have experienced difficulty registering as IDPs; this prevents Roma IDPs from accessing assistance and puts Roma children at even greater risk of exploitation. (23; 24; 25) An estimated 10,000 Roma people have been displaced by the conflict. (26)

Children from Ukraine are trafficked both internationally and domestically for commercial sexual exploitation and forced begging. (14; 17) Children with disabilities and homeless, orphaned, and poor children, especially those living in state-run institutions, are at high risk of being trafficked and targeted by recruiters for child pornography. (2; 18; 13; 14; 16) Ukraine is a destination and transit country for refugees from Afghanistan, Somalia, and Syria. Refugees lack access to state-run children’s shelters, have no formal means of acquiring food and other assistance from the government, and experience heightened vulnerability to child trafficking. (18)

During the reporting period, children continued to take part in active combat as part of the Russia-led forces. Recruitment of children by militant groups took place primarily in Russia-controlled territory and areas where the government was unable to enforce national prohibitions against the use of children in armed conflict. (9; 15) Russia-led forces employed children as soldiers, informants, and human shields during the reporting period. (9; 15).

Mobile phones in the fight against human trafficking - Trafficking hotline, Dial 527

Martiena van der Meer (article) and Louise Dunne (audio), Radio Netherlands Worldwide, 25-07-2007

[Last accessed 5 January 2011]

TRAFFICKING HOTLINE - In the Ukraine, now even the simplest of handsets could potentially save lives thanks to three of the country's leading service providers who have collaborated with the International Organization for Migration to set up a toll-free information hotline. Customers of Ukrainian mobile phone service providers KyivStar, UMC and life:) can dial '527' from their handsets in order to receive information and advice from the IOM on migration and trafficking issues, and potential migrants will also get information on legal methods of migration.

Hotline Combats Human Trafficking, Helps Victims - Trafficking hotline, Dial 527

International Organization for Migration, 4 Sept 2007

[accessed 10 February 2016]

The hotline is one of a number of IOM activities aimed at countering human trafficking and promoting legal migration from Ukraine. Others include European Union–funded migrant advice centres established in partnership with local NGOs.

Since 2001, IOM Kiev has provided assistance to more than 4,000 victims of trafficking, including medical care, psychosocial counselling, reintegration grants, vocational training and legal assistance.

Caring for the children who 'don't exist'

Organization protects Ukrainian youth from falling prey to human traffickers

Don Butler, The Ottawa Citizen, January 30, 2009

[accessed 4 September 2012]

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, nearly 120,000 Ukrainian men, women and children have been trafficked abroad - more than any other Eastern European country.   Some are effectively kidnapped. Others are enticed by promises of money and a better life. Some parents even sell their own daughters, Mr. Svystun said.   Sadly, that no longer surprises him. Since 2001, he has worked with Odessa's street children, estimated at 5,000, but in reality far more numerous. Some are as young as four.

About 80 per cent are "social orphans" who live on the street because their parents drink, use drugs or abuse them sexually or physically.   Officially, many don't even exist. Their parents never registered their births, so the state has no record of them.   "That's why it's very easy for human trafficking," said Mr. Svystun. "You can take somebody who doesn't exist, so nobody cares."

Ukraine takes steps to curb trafficking

Alexandra Stadnyk, Kyiv Post, Jul 16, 2008

[accessed 10 February 2016]

NATALIA’S STORY - Despite a steadily improving economy that is reducing financial desperation, Natalia’s story is still all too common in Ukraine. Millions of people still remain mired in poverty or low-wage jobs in tiny villages scattered throughout the nation.

Like many deceived victims, Natalia said she was destitute when a young woman approached her as she was working in a local market in her hometown. The woman asked if she was interested in working abroad.

“She promised good money,” says Natalia in a shaky voice, her mascara watering as tears begin to trickle down her face.

“This woman knew I had no money, no husband, a sick mother and two children and she knew I was desperate,” she says. Natalia was told she would work in the home of a family in a Western European nation.

IT TURNED OUT TO BE A LIE - “When I arrived, I asked where the family was, where the washing machine was and all the other things I would need to help around the house. Suddenly a large man dressed in black threw cheap lingerie at me and said I had to work to pay off the cost of my travel, and that’s when I knew I had been trafficked. I knew I had been trafficked on the first day.”

Natalia worked with five other women from Ukraine and Moldova in a small apartment, where she was forced to service up to four men a day, she says. She worked in slavelike conditions for six months until she got pregnant and begged to be sent back to Ukraine by one of her customers, who refused to pay for an abortion. The abortion had to wait until she returned to Ukraine

Ukraine: Human Trafficking

Daniel S. - 5 May 2008

[accessed 12 September 2011]

[scroll down to Comments]


Ukraine woman forced to dance at strip club testifies in D.C.

Todd Spangler, Free Press Washington Staff, Washington, 03 November 2007

[accessed 18 June 2013]

Lured from the Ukraine with the promise of a student visa, the young woman believed she was headed to the U.S. to study and to Virginia Beach to work as a waitress -- not to Detroit, where she was forced to dance at a strip club.  Using the alias "Katya" to protect herself, the 22-year-old woman spoke publicly for the first time today, describing to a congressional panel how she was forced to work at the Detroit club for months until she and another young woman escaped with the help of one of the patrons of the club.  "They forced me to work six days a week for 12 hours a day," she said of the men who made her work at Cheetah's in Detroit. "I could not refuse to go to work or I would be beaten." While she was forced to dance at the strip club, she said she was not made to be a prostitute.

Harbor Springs man helps fight abuse and human trafficking in Ukraine

Louise Nelle, News-Review staff writer, Petoskey News, Harbor Springs, September 07, 2007

[accessed 5 January 2011]

[accessed 14 August 2020]

In terms of human trafficking, Wiser said the committee supports groups directly involved with victims. They are also working to prevent traffickers from receiving information about orphans.  “Traffickers are getting this information on when these kids get released and then they target them. We want to seal this information so it’s not available,” Wiser said.

Eight Israelis charged with trafficking human organs

Russia Today RT, 24 July, 2007

[accessed 5 January 2011]

Israeli police have broken up an organ transplanting ring that persuaded dozens of Israelis to have their kidneys removed in Ukraine. But, because Israeli law does not explicitly forbid the trafficking of organs, police may have to release the suspects.

It’s not difficult to become an organ donor. Ads have appeared in both the Russian and Arabic press. Dozens of people are believed to have been duped into donating their body organs.  We are co-operating with the Ukrainian justice system. In Ukraine and Israel, there is no law that a person cannot sell body organs. But what police are charging is that they were trafficking organs, which is illegal,” said Lizzy Troend, defence lawyer.  Israel allows transplants from relatives or anonymous donors, but the law forbids anyone to buy organs. - IsUkr

IOM: Honouring Ukrainians who Fight Human Trafficking

UN House in Ukraine, Kyiv, September 7th, 2006

[accessed 21 February 2018]

ABOUT IOM UKRAINE -- IOM Ukraine began combating trafficking in Ukraine in 1998. Since 2000, IOM has assisted more than 3,000 Ukrainian victims of trafficking with support including medical care, psychological counselling, vocational training, and legal consultation, among other forms of support. Victims of trafficking assisted by IOM have returned from 50 countries in the world, of which 48 percent of victims return from Russian, Turkey and Poland.

Queen Sylvia of Sweden awards Ukrainians for anti-trafficking efforts

Posted: October 01, 2006

[accessed 5 January 2011]

[accessed 27 February 2019]

A recently created department within the Interior ministry has liquidated 60 criminal groups that were involved in human trafficking. More than 700 victims of the modern-day slave trade have been returned to the country.

Smuggler's Prey – [PDF]

[accessed 19 December 2010]

Chapter 1, Smugglers' Prey -- The Natashas: The Horrific Inside Story of Slavery, Rape, and Murder in the Global Sex Trade, [Book by Victor Malarek, Skyhorse, Sep 1, 2011]

[Found listed, 23 February 2019]

Every day, scores of young women throughout the former East Bloc are lured by job offers that lead to a hellish journey of sexual slavery and violence. Despite the barrage of warnings on radio and TV, in newspapers and on billboards, desperate women continue to line up with their naiveté and applications in hand, hoping that, this time, they might just be in luck.

Revealed: kept in a dungeon ready to be sold as slaves

David Harrison in Skopje, The Telegraph,  27 Nov 2005

[accessed 19 December 2010]

The women, aged 18 to 24, are from across eastern Europe, lured from Romania, Moldova, Ukraine and Bulgaria, with promises of good jobs as waitresses, au pairs and dancers.  Instead, they have been forced into modern-day slavery in western Macedonia, locked in the dirty cellar and only summoned upstairs by their masters to perform sexual services for customers who are usually drunk and often violent.  When they were found, the victims, some of whom had been "broken in" as prostitutes in other countries on the way to Macedonia, barely knew where they were. They had no idea what the future held but knew that it was beyond their control.

Ukrainian women freed from sexual slavery in Turkey thanks to phone tip-off

United Press International UPI International Edition, Geneva, August 5, 2005

[accessed 21 February 2015]

The women - one of whom was held for six years - were set to return to Ukraine after being rescued by Turkish police following a call to the "157" hotline, which is run by the IOM, the Geneva-based organization said.  Impoverished women from Eastern Europe are lured to Turkey by criminal gangs with promises of well-paid jobs, but many are later forced into prostitution or other jobs in the underground labor market.

Ukrainians Vulnerable to the Sex Trade

The Associated Press AP, 04 August 2005

[partially accessed 5 January 2011 - access restricted]

Yulia said she left her hometown of Donestk four years ago for a job in one of Moscow's luxurious nightclubs that she heard about through acquaintances, planning to earn money to pay her way through college. But once in Moscow, Yulia's new employer seized her passport and beat her for several days before sending her out to work the Russian capital's streets as a prostitute.

Forced Labor –A Global Menace

Dan Margolis, People's Weekly World Newspaper, 09/15/05

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 12 September 2011]

With her family life destroyed, Anna became desperate. She struggled on until someone she had met offered her a job working at a hotel in another country. Anna accepted the position in hopes of finding a better life.  Her dreams were dashed, however. After being taken abroad, and after a trip across a desert on a pickup truck, she was locked inside an apartment. There was no hotel job waiting for her, nor was there a hotel. Instead, she was raped up to nine times a day by different men who paid her captors for the sex. Anna had unwittingly become trapped in sex slavery.

Russian Girls Eager To Work Abroad, Despite The Danger Of Sex Trafficking

Pravda, 31.03.2005

[accessed 24 November 2010]

The Ukrainian Interior Ministry and the Israeli police conducted a special operation, as a result of which an Israeli national recruiting girls from the CIS was detained in Kiev. The recruiter promised various types of employment in Israel, but each time girls were sent to brothels.  Girls usually come across tempting ads in newspapers promising up to two thousand of dollars a month.

ICE arrests men who forced women to work as strippers

News release, February 17, 2005 -- Source:

[accessed 12 September 2011]

[accessed 7 October 2016]

According to the criminal complaint, xxxxxxxxxxxx, 32, who is a citizen of Lithuania, and xxxxxxxxxxx, 25, a U.S. citizen, are suspected of recruiting women from the Ukraine to travel to the United States under the guise of working as waitresses here. Once the women arrived in the U.S., they were forced to work at “Cheetah’s” strip club.  The women were driven to their work from their apartment and back again. There was no telephone in their apartment. The complaint also states the women were intimidated, hit and threatened with death if they tried to leave.

Trafficking in Women from Ukraine [PDF]

Donna M. Hughes, University of Rhode Island & Tatyana Denisova, Zaporizhia State University, Final Report, 2002

[accessed 5 January 2011]

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY -  Eighty percent of the traffickers are Ukrainian citizens, and about 60 percent are women.  The traffickers use women who were formerly in prostitution as recruiters. The pimps in the destination countries places orders with the traffickers for the number of women they need. Once the women arrive at the destination, the criminal group controls them. Women must repay inflated debts before they are released and their identity and/or travel documents returned. If the women do not comply they are threatened, beaten, and raped. A former trafficker/pimp presented the researchers with photographs of a victim being humiliated. These photographs were used to control her.

Victims and family members of victims are afraid to talk to the police. Often victims do not tell their friends and families what has happened to them while they were abroad. Only 12 percent reported their victimization. The risk of retaliation from the traffickers and organized crime groups is too high.

The “Natasha” Trade: The Transnational Shadow Market of Trafficking in Women [PDF]

Donna M. Hughes, University of Rhode Island, Special Issue of Journal of International Affairs, “In the Shadows: Promoting Prosperity or Undermining Stability?”, Vol. 53, No. 2, Spring 2000, pp. 625-651

[accessed 5 January 2011]

[accessed 10 February 2016]

Irina, aged 18, responded to an advertisement in a Kyiv, Ukraine newspaper for a training course in Berlin in 1996. With a fake passport, she traveled to Berlin, Germany where she was told that the school had closed. She was sent on to Brussels, Belgium for a job. When she arrived she was told she needed to repay a debt of US$10,000 and would have to earn the money in prostitution. Her passport was confiscated, and she was threatened, beaten and raped. When she didn’t earn enough money she was sold to a Belgium pimp who operated in Rue d’Aarschot in the Brussel’s red light district. When she managed to escape through the assistance of police, she was arrested because she had no legal documentation. A medical exam verified the abuse she had suffered, such as cigarette burns all over her body.

Ukranian National Consultation on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

ECPAT International, Kiev, 4 March 2004

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 12 September 2011]

BORDER REGULATIONS FACILITATE TRAFFICKING OF CHILDREN - Ukraine is also a major supplier and transit country of children trafficked for sexual purposes. According to International Organization for Migration reports, 10% of all trafficking victims who are known to return to Ukraine are aged 12 to 18. Trafficking of Ukrainian children is a relatively easy operation because of inappropriate agreements reached between Ukraine and border countries Russia, Moldova and Belarus. According to the current Visa-Free Travel Regime applicable to children under 16, only a child’s birth certificate needs to be presented before a child is allowed to cross these borders legally. However, these certificates do not carry photos, and it is easy for traffickers to take children across borders using another child’s certificate. This also hampers preventive action to stop trafficking of children from Ukraine through these countries to the neighbouring Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

The Situation Of Children In Ukraine And Their Vulnerability To Commercial Sexual Exploitation [PDF]

Julia. Galustyan, Head of Centre for Gender Studies, PhD. in Sociology & Valentina. Novitskaya, Research Fellow, Centre for Gender Studies, ECPAT International, Ukrainian Institute Of Social Research, 2003

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 12 September 2011]

According IOM data, of 1355 Ukrainian victims of trafficking who asked for help, 10% were adolescents (mostly aged from 12 to18).  In September 2003, in the Poltava region, a girl born in 1986 was captured. She was forced into prostitution and transferred to Novorossiysk (Russian Federation). She gave birth to an infant girl  in 1988. She gave this infant to Russian souteneurs (pimp) for further sexual exploitation.  While  this case was subject to criminal investigation, another group of under-age victims (5 persons) was revealed. Regarding the girl,  a  criminal lawsuit was brought in accordance with Article 149, Chapter 3, of the Ukrainian Criminal Code.

There are rare cases when parents themselves sell their children: In Yevpatoria, Crimea, a mother offered her 10-year-old son for homosexual contact.  In Kyiv, a mother sold her 9-year-old daughter for dollars. The mother was happy that she got a good price and used the money to spend time with her friends. She said other parents received for their children only 10 hrivnas (2 US dollars). (Documentary film: ‘Meeting with Chimeras’.)  In the Zhitomir region, alcoholic parents sent their under-age daughter ‘to go for a drive’ in a car (to give sex-services). As reward, these parents received vodka.

A modern slave's brutal odyssey

BBC News, 3 November, 2004

[accessed 5 January 2011]

EX-TRAFFICKER'S STORY - One former trafficker, now working with the authorities and living at a secret address, told Slavery Today how his former gang would operate.  "Most of the time we would use professional recruiters, but at times we would kidnap women and children ourselves," he said.  "The children were taken to be sold in Italy, and the better-looking women were kept as prisoners and made to work as prostitutes.  "The men were transported wherever they wanted to go."  He also said that the youngest child who had been abducted was around 18 months old.

"I have heard that sick children are sold and made into beggars.  "The healthy ones are kept and trained to work for the Mafia, to deal drugs, to murder - whatever they are capable of.  "I've also heard that some children were sold for organs. This also happened with men and women, depending on the demand."

Child trafficking in Moldova

International Labour Organisation ILO, Chisinau Moldova, March 15, 2004

[accessed 4 September 2012]

Last year, life for 15 year-old Ioana had become unbearable. Though she was one of the best pupils in her class, she had abandoned school and decided to leave her home and her alcoholic parents, moving in with her grandparents. One day, while at the market here in the Moldavian capital, she met a woman from a neighbouring village who listened attentively to her woes and proposed that she accompany her to Ukraine where she could find a job.  Customs was no problem. Despite her young age, Ioana was able to cross the border in the company of a stranger, identified only by a birth certificate of a trafficker's (neighbor lady's) daughter.

From September to April 2003, Ioana was forced to sell goods on a market in Ukraine. As compensation, she received a pair of winter clothes and food. Eventually, Ukrainian police who had been searching for her at the request of her mother, found the girl and returned her to her home. Paradoxically, Ioana reportedly told the police she preferred life with the trafficker to her own home, believing life was better on the run than among her alcoholic parents.

Czech Police detained criminal group responsible for trafficking Ukrainian women


[access date unavailable]

The criminals had promised their victims respectable jobs with high salaries.  It was only at the Czech border that the girls realized they would have to “work off” the value of their tickets, visas, and work permits at the night club.

In Rostov region, Russia, a trafficker was sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment

[access date unavailable]

Having trusted the promises of Zaur Mamedov, a minor girl went to the UAE, to the town Abu-Dabi. When arrived to the country, she noticed at once that there wasn’t any decent job for her promised in Ukraine, instead of it she would work in one of the Emirates’ brothel.

A woman of 20, Lviv resident, forced minors to prostitution

[access date unavailable]

According to the Public Relations Centre’s information, the pimp offered girls a job of waitresses at the camping site. For her own money she bought them clothes and lodged in rooms. Then she was saying that there was no vacant place for a waitress, and it is necessary to pay off the money already spent and offered them to work them off by prositution.

II. Vital Voices Anti-Trafficking Activities

[access date unavailable]

FOR SALE OR RENT— THE CAPTIVE DAUGHTERS OF UKRAINE - Ms. Verveer talked about her encounters with Ukrainian women pleading for help with their missing daughters during her trip she made in 1997 as the Chief of Staff to First Lady Hillary Clinton. “They were crying and asking for our help because their daughters and neighbors were missing and they didn’t know what to do. It was not until then did we realize how serious the trafficking problem was.” After that trip, the Clinton Administration began working with NGOs, legal experts, and government agencies to pass legislation that eventually became the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act in 2000.

Joint East West Research on Trafficking in Children for Sexual Purposes in Europe: The Sending Countries [PDF]

Edited by: Muireann O’Briain, Anke van den Borne & Theo Noten, ECPAT Europe Law Enforcement Group, Programme against Trafficking in Children for Sexual Purposes in Europe, Amsterdam, 2004

[accessed 5 January 2011]

[accessed 10 February 2016]

[page 35]  The experts consulted in the course of the research believe that girls are sold for between US$2,000 and US$10,000 each. The destination countries are Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Canada, Italy, the United States, Germany, the Arab Emirates and Japan.

Experts Criticize EU Over Human Trafficking

Bernd Riegert, Deutsche Welle DW-World, 23.12.2004,1564,1438511,00.html

[accessed 5 January 2011]

KIDNAPPED AND HELPLESS - The victims are often utterly dependent on their employers as they are unable to legally apply for residence permits, Wijers said. Entire industries rely on the illegal workers who are kept as slaves, she said. The authorities should develop witness protection programs for victims willing to testify against traffickers and national referral mechanisms to identify victims.

He cited intelligence and police information as identifying a growing demand for underage girls. Women from Eastern Europe, particularly Ukraine, Moldova, Romania and Bulgaria continue to make up the largest number of victims,

Lilya 4-Ever  -  Critically acclaimed feature-length film about trafficking

Brama News and Community Press, New York, June 12, 2005

[accessed 5 January 2011]

While exact numbers are difficult to pinpoint, roughly 75% of the apprehended cases of trafficking victims in the New York area in the past year have been from Eastern Europe - about 50% comprise young women and children from Ukraine.

Ukraine's Top Dissident Raises a Rare Female Voice

Mariya Rasner, WeNews correspondent, Womensenews, Moscow, December 9, 2004

[accessed 5 January 2011]

LOOKING FOR A BETTER LIFE ABROAD - Because of the lack of equal opportunities in Ukraine, many gifted and educated women feel compelled to look for better life abroad, says parliamentarian Bilozir. She adds that about 70 percent of Ukrainian labor migrants are women.

"I had graduated from one of the top universities in the country, and still there were no prospects for a good job or a good life," says Natalia Cherkaska, an information-technology specialist who grew up in Lviv, a major city in Western Ukraine and now lives in San Francisco. "The pay there is meager. And on tope of that, most men drink, demanding that a woman takes care of them and the kids."

Women's limited work opportunities "may leave them vulnerable to being trafficked into the commercial sex industry or other forms of forced labor," according to the Human Rights Watch report.  The World Bank said in its 2000 report that the trafficking of women from Ukraine into forced labor "has reached an unprecedented level even when compared to other Former Soviet Union countries."

Tatiana's Story

Stop Human Traffic, Anti-Slavery International,1309,2.html

[accessed 24 August 2014]

Like most victims of trafficking, Tatiana's reason for travelling abroad was to support her family. Through an agent in Belarus, she arranged to move to Holland to work as a waitress. A number of the agent's contacts assisted her in her journey from Belarus, through Germany to Holland, and everything went sméoothly, until she arrived.

Once in Holland, Tatiana was taken to a night club where she was forced to work as a prostitute. For the next four months she was a prisoner, living and working in the club. All her earnings were taken by the club owner, for rent, food and other living costs, and he also demanded payment for her initial travel expenses from Belarus. Her dream of earning money as a waitress had turned into a nightmare. She was unable to send money home, and could not find a way to escape her desperate situation. On top of all this, she was subjected to regular beatings.

Trafficking in Women:  Moldova and Ukraine [PDF]

Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, December 2000, ISBN: 0-929293-49-5

[accessed 5 January 2011]

[accessed 21 February 2018]


A. INTRODUCTION - In 1999, La Strada, an NGO working on trafficking of women in Ukraine, reported that 420,000 Ukrainian women had been taken out of country.  A police officer in Ukraine reported that in the summer, about 20 women a week leave Luhansk.  One senior member of the police force in Donetsk, Ukraine, who is active in fighting trafficking, estimated, “500-1000 girls leave Donetsk for Turkey and other places monthly. In some towns, 95% of the girls have gone to Greece or Turkey to work as prostitutes. Three to five years ago, girls were tricked and cheated into going. But now they often go voluntarily in order to make money.”  He said he knows of some women who have been deported five or six times, “they change their passport and try to go again.”

Information Campaign Against Trafficking in Women from Ukraine [PDF]

International Organization for Migration IOM, Research Report, July 1998, ISBN-92-9068-073-3

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 12 September 2011]

[page 14]  CHAPTER 3  FROM MIGRATION INTENTIONS TO TRAFFICKING - The nation-wide survey has revealed a direct correlation between the adverse domestic economic condition and surveyed women’s desire to migrate. From intending to migrate to resorting to traffickers, however, is a large step.

However, there is a growing consensus that “trafficking must be seen as part of the world-wide feminization of poverty and of labour migration”. When women are structurally denied access to the formal and regulated labour market, they are increasingly being pushed into unprotected or criminalized labour markets, such as sexual and exploitative domestic work.


La Strada Ukraine

[accessed 5 January 2011]


Carmen Galina, The European Parliament, B-1047 Brussels, March 2000  

[accessed 27 February 2019]

6.1 MARINA - I’d sat there for a long time and didn’t know what to do. Then a nice women came to me and brought me some food. She asked about my parents and my birthplace. The woman was Polish and I understood her quite well. She asked me weather I knew I had to work as prostitute. I began to cry.

10.2 TANYA - She got the passport and visa and flew to Abu-Dabu. After the arrival her passport was taken out and she was informed she had been sold for $ 7000 and from that moment she had to work in a bar attracting clients

RAISA - It was going on about half of the year. But one day Azim said to my daughter that she had to move to another man. She began to protest but he showed to her money which he had received from that man and explained that she became the slave of that man

7.1 OLEXANDRA - After some time women were resent to Germany across the river. They were resold from one place to other by Turkish men several times. In brothels they were pushed to serve clients together with Polish, Bulgarian and Czech women

Concluding Observations Of The Committee On The Rights Of The Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 17 November 1995

[accessed 5 January 2011]

[11] The Committee is worried by the high rate of abandonment of children, especially new-born babies, and the lack of a comprehensive strategy to assist vulnerable families. This situation can lead to illegal inter-country adoption or other forms of trafficking and sale of children. In this context the Committee is also concerned about the absence of any law prohibiting the sale and trafficking of children, and the fact that the right of the child to have his/her identity preserved is not guaranteed by the law.


Freedom House Country Report

2018 Edition

[accessed 8 May 2020]


The trafficking of women domestically and abroad for the purpose of prostitution remains a problem. Internally displaced persons are especially vulnerable to exploitation for sex trafficking and forced labor. Reports indicate that separatist commanders in the east have recruited children as soldiers and informants.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 11 February 2020]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONSUkraine was also a destination country for individuals trafficked from former Soviet republics and South Asia. For example, the IOM reported one case of trafficking from Moldova to Ukraine. A much larger problem involved trafficking of individuals within the country. As of September 30, the IOM reported three cases of internal trafficking. However, the IOM believed the actual number was 100 times greater. There were a few reports that mothers trafficked their underage children and forced them to beg.

There were also reports that both women and men were forced to work in agriculture, especially in the southern regions, in summer and autumn. Children were exploited in industrial cities in the east. For example, 2 adults in the eastern town of Snizhne, Donetsk Region, were arrested and given 4-year suspended sentences for creating a foster home and then forcing 11 foster children to work in their illegal coal mine.

Men were mainly trafficked as construction workers and miners. Children who were trafficked across the border or within the country were forced to provide sexual services, engage in unpaid work, or beg. The overwhelming majority of trafficking victims were women, who were used as sex‑workers, housekeepers, seamstresses, and dishwashers. Trafficked women were also used to bear children for infertile couples. There was a lack of information regarding male victims of trafficking, because men generally did not recognize themselves as victims of trafficking. As a result, men rarely addressed complaints to law enforcement agencies.

Estimates regarding the number of trafficked citizens varied, but the IOM stated that one 1 of every 10 persons knew someone in their community who has been trafficked. According to Human Rights Ombudsman Karpachova, approximately five to seven million citizens lived and worked abroad, many without legal protection, and were therefore potentially vulnerable to traffickers.

Traffickers used a variety of methods to recruit victims, including advertisements in newspapers and on television and radio that offered jobs abroad with high salaries and promises of modeling contracts, marriage proposals, and trips through travel agencies. Traffickers often presented themselves as friends of other friends and deceived the relatives of potential victims. Most of the traffickers were members of organized crime groups. The traffickers often paid for the processing of passports and travel documents for the victims, thus placing them into debt bondage. In some cases the traffickers simply kidnapped their victims.

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