Human Rights in Ukraine

Women’s rights

Ukrainian victims of human trafficking freed in Turkey


The Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs reports that thanks to their formal request to the Turkish police, 20 Ukrainian women, some of whom they believe to be victims of human traffickers, have been freed.

In the last few days the local police of the province of Antalia detained 24 young Ukrainian women aged between 20 and 25. All of them were engaged in prostitution. Overall, according to official statistics, there are at least 5 thousand young Ukrainian women in Turkey drawn into the legal or illegal sex industry.

The women are presently being questioned. The head of the relevant department of the MIA Mykhailo Andriyenko says that most of these women were found thanks to the Ministry’s formal requests which gave addresses and names of the women.

“I am certain that there are victims of human trafficking among them since, according to our information, they really were sent there and pimps have received money for them”, he added.

“If any of them need medical or psychological assistance, this will be provided by the International Organization for Migrants, and they will be returned to Ukraine. If the women are not trafficking victims, they will simply be deported.

Mykhailo Andriyenko says that around half the women take such a step voluntarily, the others are duped or coerced into it. Turkey is attractive because of its simplified visa regime and the low cost of organizing official documents, as well as because prostitution is legal there.

As well as Turkey, cases of human trafficking involving Ukrainian victims, and not only as sex slaves, have been recorded in the Russian Federation, the Czech Republic, Poland, the United Arab Emirates, and sometimes the United Kingdom and other countries.

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