Human Rights in Ukraine. Website of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Human trafficking

The Scale of Human trafficking in Ukraine


A study commissioned by the International Organization for Migration Mission in Ukraine has found that since 1991 there have been around 100 thousand victims of human trafficking in Ukraine. The study was the first attempt to measure the scale of the problem in the country using methodology based on individual surveys.

On the basis of data collected (there were 1,345 respondents throughout the country), two independent research groups (GFK Ukraine and the University of Nebraska, USA) estimated the overall number of victims of human trafficking as 117,000 and 96,975, respectively.

One of the most important findings of the study was the considerable prevalence of trafficking for labour exploitation (around 85% of all victims).

A number of steps have been taken towards combating the crime through coordination of the efforts of the IOM and Ministry of Internal Affairs, for example, through creating a special sector for fighting crimes linked with employment abroad, this functioning within the Department for combating human trafficking. Similar coordination has taken place with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Employment and Social Policy with joint initiatives on labour migration aimed at safeguarding the rights of Ukrainian nationals abroad.

“During recent years Ukraine has taken significant steps towards combating human trafficking, however the nature of this crime means that decisive and comprehensive measures are also needed in the destination countries where the victims are actually exploited. Ukrainians must be able to travel abroad to work, study or for other purposes without fearing exploitation. They must know that their rights will be appropriately safeguarded”, IOM Ukraine Counter-trafficking Programme Coordinator, Fredric Larsson stressed.

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