Changes for the better in the fight against human trafficking
Since the “Orange Revolution” there has been an improvement in moves to combat human trafficking. This was stated on 26 September by participants in the regional forum “Countering human trafficking for the sake of safe migrations”. Representatives from nongovernmental organizations in seventeen countries took part. Oleksandr Savitsky reports:
“Whereas previously people looked for work abroad because it was impossible to find a job in Ukraine, now they do so because of the low level of wages in the country, activists from the centre “La Strada – Ukraine” report. They also say that the degree to which human trafficking is being combated is satisfactory in Ukraine, and point out that this year two hundred and eighty criminal investigations were launched against alleged culprits. However the number of court rulings actually handed down remains too low, reaching barely a third of the overall number.
Representative of the centre “La Strada – Ukraine, Kateryna Levchenko, stressed that the level to which individuals are aware of their rights when being employed for work abroad remains extremely low. She also noted the emergence of cases involving human traffic not only beyond Ukraines borders, but also within the country. Poorly-off inhabitants of rural areas seeking work in the city often fall victim to crooks. This could partly be averted by circulating a special textbook for school students published by human rights activists. However, the “La Strada” representative complained that at present they are having no success in gain understanding from the Ministry of Education.